SEATTLE (AP)The Seattle Mariners placed center fielder Kyle Lewis on the 10-day injured list Wednesday due to a bone bruise in his right knee, sidelining the reigning American League Rookie of the Year for opening day.
Seattle manager Scott Servais hinted last week that Lewis’ injury was not responding as the training staff had hoped and was uncertain whether Lewis would be available for the opener Thursday against San Francisco.
Servais said there was a chance Lewis could play but the team is exercising caution with one of its young stars.
”Could he go? Possibly,” Servais said. ”This is a training staff, myself call. We are in for the long haul here, and playing the long game and what this season is going to take just having everybody moving forward for the big chunk of the season.”
Lewis missed the final week of spring training after crashing into the wall during an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 22. The bruise didn’t seem significant at first but didn’t respond to treatment as quickly as the Mariners hoped.
Servais stressed the knee is structurally fine. Lewis underwent two surgeries on his right knee after suffering a major knee injury during the 2016 minor-league season.
”I want to give him probably a couple weeks just to make sure it is 100%. It is not at 100% right now and I do not want to risk running him out there and something else happens,” Servais said. ”But his knee is totally fine.”
Lewis’ absence will cause some shifts in Seattle’s outfield. Rookie Taylor Trammell will start in center field Thursday and the Mariners will likely use a combination of players to take shifts in left field and center field while Lewis is out.
Lewis hit .262 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs last season.
Servais also said the Mariners will alter their rotation for the opening homestand. James Paxton was originally slated to pitch in Game 2 against San Francisco but will now pitch in the fifth game of the season against the Chicago White Sox.
Yusei Kikuchi will get the start Friday against the Giants, Chris Flexen will start Saturday and Justus Sheffield will pitch the opener against Chicago on Monday.
”Looking at how the spring played out with (Paxton), I just want to give him plenty of time before he gets going and cranking it up,” Servais said. ”I thought he threw the ball really well the last couple times out.”
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