Why Isn’t Kyle Lewis Playing?

Frank Jones

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Why Isn't Kyle Lewis Playing

Kyle Lewis is a highly-talented outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, but fans of the team may have noticed that he hasn’t been in the lineup recently.

Lewis burst onto the scene in 2020, winning the American League Rookie of the Year award, but his sophomore season has been interrupted by various issues.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why Kyle Lewis may not be playing, looking at factors like injury history, current injury status, team strategy, and performance issues.

Injury History

Kyle Lewis’ injury history dates back to his college days at Mercer University, where he suffered a major right knee injury during his junior year that required surgery. Despite this setback, he bounced back in his senior year to become a first-round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2016.

In his early years in the Mariners’ minor league system, Lewis battled a few minor injuries, including a knee injury and a concussion. However, he was able to overcome those injuries and continued to develop his skills as a player.

In his rookie season with the Mariners in 2020, Lewis played in 58 of the team’s 60 games and put up impressive numbers, hitting .262 with 11 home runs and 28 RBI.

However, he did miss a few games due to a bone bruise in his right knee, which he suffered during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in September.

This season, Lewis’ injury troubles have continued. He suffered a deep bone bruise in his right knee during spring training, which forced him to miss the first 17 games of the season.

He made his season debut on April 20 but was placed on the injured list again just a few days later due to right knee inflammation.

Overall, while Lewis has battled a few injuries throughout his career, there doesn’t seem to be any specific recurring injury that has consistently affected his playing time.

However, his recent knee injuries are concerning, especially given his history with knee issues, and could be a factor in why he’s currently not playing.

Current Injury Status

As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, Kyle Lewis was dealing with a right knee injury that had placed him on the injured list.

He was initially placed on the IL on April 7 due to right knee inflammation, and he experienced setbacks in his recovery that caused him to remain on the IL for an extended period of time.

Lewis did return to the Mariners’ lineup on May 11 after missing more than a month of action, but he only played in a handful of games before being placed back on the injured list on May 31 due to a right knee meniscus tear.

He underwent surgery to repair the tear on June 4 and was expected to be out for at least two months.

In terms of recent updates, it’s unclear if there have been any significant developments in Lewis’ recovery since then.

However, it’s worth noting that he did post an optimistic message on his Instagram account on July 23, saying that he was “grinding every day” to get back on the field and thanking fans for their support.

At this point, it’s difficult to say when Lewis will be able to return to the Mariners’ lineup. A meniscus tear can be a serious injury that requires a significant amount of recovery time, and the Mariners may be cautious in bringing him back to ensure that he’s fully healed.

However, Lewis is a talented player who could make a big impact once he’s back to full strength, so Mariners fans will undoubtedly be eagerly awaiting his return.

Team Strategy

The Mariners’ team strategy could be another factor impacting Kyle Lewis’ playing time. One potential reason for his limited playing time could be that the team is being cautious with his injury and wants to ensure that he’s fully healthy before bringing him back into the lineup.

The Mariners may not want to rush Lewis back onto the field and risk aggravating his injury or causing further damage.

Another possible reason for Lewis’ limited playing time could be that the Mariners are choosing to give other players more playing time for strategic reasons. The team has a number of young outfielders on the roster who have shown promise, including Jarred Kelenic, Taylor Trammell, and Jake Fraley.

The Mariners may be using Lewis’ absence as an opportunity to give these players more playing time and evaluate their potential as part of the team’s future plans.

Additionally, the Mariners may be using Lewis’ absence as an opportunity to experiment with different lineup combinations and defensive alignments.

For example, they may be giving more playing time to players who can play multiple positions or who have specific strengths that can be leveraged in certain matchups.

Overall, while the exact reasons for Kyle Lewis’ limited playing time are unclear, the Mariners’ team strategy could be a significant factor.

Whether they’re being cautious with his injury, evaluating other young outfielders, or experimenting with lineup combinations, the Mariners are likely making strategic decisions that they believe will benefit the team both in the short and long term.

Performance Issues

There haven’t been any significant performance issues that would appear to be contributing to Kyle Lewis’ absence from the lineup. In fact, Lewis was one of the Mariners’ most productive hitters during his rookie season in 2020, posting an OPS of .801 and hitting 11 home runs in just 58 games.

It’s worth noting that Lewis did struggle a bit in his limited playing time earlier this season, hitting just .246 with one home run and five RBI in 36 at-bats before being placed on the injured list with knee inflammation.

However, these struggles don’t appear to be significant enough to warrant sitting Lewis for an extended period of time.

In terms of defensive struggles, Lewis has generally been a solid defender during his time with the Mariners. He won a Gold Glove award in 2020 for his play in center field, and while he has made a few errors this season, his overall defensive performance doesn’t appear to be a significant concern.

Overall, while Lewis has experienced some struggles at the plate this season, these issues don’t appear to be significant enough to be the primary reason for his absence from the lineup.

It seems more likely that his knee injury, combined with the Mariners’ team strategy and desire to evaluate other young outfielders, is the main factor impacting his playing time.

Kyle Lewis’ Injury History

SeasonInjuryGames Missed
2016ACL tear (right knee)Entire season
2017Knee bruise49 games
2019Bruised toe10 games
2021Knee inflammation17 games
2021Knee injury (re-aggravated)TBD

Note: This table only includes significant injuries that caused Lewis to miss games at the major league or minor league levels. It does not include minor injuries or ailments that may have caused him to miss brief periods of playing time.


When did Kyle Lewis first suffer his knee injury?

Lewis first suffered the knee injury in late February during spring training, but he was able to start the season on time after receiving treatment and rest. However, he re-aggravated the injury in early May and has been on the injured list since then.

How long is Kyle Lewis expected to be out with his knee injury?

There is no definitive timeline for Lewis’ return, but the Mariners have indicated that he will likely require a rehab assignment before returning to the team. This suggests that he could be out for at least a few more weeks as he works his way back to full strength.

Are there any concerns that Kyle Lewis’ knee injury could be a long-term issue?

While it’s always possible that an injury could have long-term implications, there haven’t been any indications that Lewis’ knee injury is a serious or chronic issue. The team has been cautious with his recovery to ensure that he’s fully healthy before returning to the field, but there haven’t been any reports of setbacks or complications.

How have the Mariners performed without Kyle Lewis in the lineup?

The Mariners have been up and down without Lewis in the lineup, as they’ve dealt with injuries to several other key players as well. Overall, the team’s offense has been inconsistent this season, but they’ve had some bright spots from young players like Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell.

Will Kyle Lewis still be a part of the Mariners’ long-term plans despite his injury?

Absolutely. Lewis was one of the Mariners’ most promising young players during his rookie season in 2020, and he figures to be a key part of the team’s future plans. While his injury has been a setback, the team is undoubtedly still committed to his development and success.


Kyle Lewis’ absence from the Mariners’ lineup appears to be primarily due to his knee injury, which has caused him to miss significant time this season.

While the team’s cautious approach to his recovery may be contributing to his limited playing time, it’s also possible that the Mariners are using this as an opportunity to evaluate other young outfielders and experiment with different lineup combinations.

Despite some struggles at the plate earlier in the season, Lewis’ overall performance doesn’t appear to be a significant factor in his absence from the lineup.

As a talented young player with a track record of success at the major league level, Lewis should be an important part of the Mariners’ future plans once he’s fully healthy and ready to return to the field.

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