Lewis, who has remained in the Arizona area while spring training has been suspended, is likely to be present at the Mariners' spring training facility in Peoria when it reopens with limited access early this week, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The Mariners are among many teams that will begin welcoming staggered groups of players back over the next several days for informal workouts at either their home or spring training complexes. Lewis' ongoing presence in the area makes him a natural candidate to join other teammates such as Evan White, Jake Fraley and J.P. Crawford, and with multiple practice fields and workout areas, the Peoria complex should afford the necessary space for proper social distancing procedures to be followed.
Lewis projects as the everyday right fielder this coming regular season despite having hit just .172 (5-for-29) over 11 Cactus League games before spring training was suspended, Brent Stecker of 710 ESPN Seattle reports. Stecker notes that general manager Jerry Dipoto identifies the slugger's occasional "empty swings" as a byproduct of an opposite-field approach to hitting which requires Lewis to often allow the ball to go deeper into the zone than a pull hitter does. The Mariners are willing to accept such a tradeoff so long as Lewis is able to generate a similar caliber of long-ball production to that of his first big-league cup of coffee in 2019. Following his September promotion, the 24-year-old became the second player in MLB history to homer in each of his first three games and ultimately left the yard once every 12.5 plate appearances across 18 contests overall. Signs of his prodigious power were evident once again this spring despite the overall lack of success, as three of Lewis' five hits during Cactus League play were home runs.
Lewis went 1-for-4 with a grand slam in a Cactus League win over the Dodgers on Friday. The seventh-inning blast was the second homer of spring for Lewis, who's still hitting just .143 across eight Cactus League games. In fact, Lewis hasn't hit safely over his 16 exhibition plate appearance outside of the pair of round trippers, but he's still on track to open the regular season as the starting right fielder.
Lewis has gone 2-for-12 with a home run, two RBI and a 2:3 BB:K through his first five Cactus League games. Despite submitting rather underwhelming numbers at the minor-league level, Lewis was allowed to bypass Triple-A entirely and make the jump to the majors last September. The 24-year-old made an immediate impression in his first taste of the big leagues, posting an .885 OPS in 75 plate appearances to give him the inside edge on a full-time role in the Seattle outfield heading into 2020. A poor spring won't necessarily kill Lewis' chances of breaking camp with the big club, but there's still reason to be skeptical of his chances of sticking in Seattle all season. Even amid his success in the majors last season, he struck out a whopping 38.7 percent of the time, which was up nearly 10 points from his rate at Double-A Arkansas (29.4 percent).
Lewis went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and two runs in a 5-3 loss against the Orioles on Friday. The 24-year-old continues to be a bright spot to yet another disappointing end to a Mariners season. He's displayed tremendous power in a small sample, hitting six homers in 40 at-bats. He is also hitting .325 with an .850 slugging percentage, nine extra-base hits, 12 RBI and 10 runs in 10 games.