Lewis batted leadoff and started in centerfield. Fellow outfielder Braden Bishop also had three hits on Monday.
When Kyle Lewis is healthy enough to get on a baseball field and play, good things happen. After season-ending knee surgery in 2016 and dealing with the recovery effects from it in 2017, which limited his playing time, the Mariners’ top prospect is back competing again.
Lewis made his anticipated debut in the Arizona Fall League on Monday and didn’t disappoint. Getting the start in centerfield and batting leadoff, Lewis went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and three runs scored to help lead the Peoria Javelinas to a 14-7 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs.
Fellow Mariners outfield prospect and former Husky standout Braden Bishop also went 3-for-4 with double, two RBI and two runs scored.
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Lewis and Bishop are two of seven Mariners’ farmhands playing in the prestigious prospect-based league. Versatile hitter Eric Filia has been dominant in the first two weeks of the league. In eight games, he’s batting .519 (14 for 27) with three doubles, two triples and six RBI. Filia did not play in Monday’s game. Third baseman turned catcher Joe DeCarlo is on the taxi squad, meaning he can only play two days per week.
Seattle has three right-handed pitchers participating in the AFL — Max Povse, Arthur Warren and Matt Festa. Povse is starting to build his overall innings count for the season. He’s 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA in two starts. He’ll start on Thursday. Warren hasn’t allowed a run in three relief appearances while notching a save. Festa has allowed four runs in three relief appearances.
The Mariners held Lewis out of game action for the first few weeks of the AFL. They had him on a rehab and strengthening program for his the troublesome right knee before letting him play in games.
General manager Jerry Dipoto said that they won’t put any limitations on Lewis, but will monitor his health closely. They don’t want to put too much pressure on the right knee. It’s unlikely he will play more than four games per week.
On July 19, 2016, Lewis suffered a ghastly knee injury sliding into home in a game for short-season Everett. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, torn medial and lateral meniscus in his right knee when it bent awkwardly while colliding with the catcher. He underwent surgery a few weeks later.
After a long rehab spent at the team complex in Arizona, Lewis returned to game action in mid-June of this season with Class A Modesto. But in his first game back, he slammed the surgically repaired knee against the wall while trying to make a catch. It landed him on the disabled list and forced him back to Peoria to recover and play in rehab games. He returned to Modesto on July 20 and played the final 36 games, hitting .260 (38 for 146) with a .736 OPS, four doubles, six homers and 24 RBI.