Lewis, who finished Cactus League play with a .423 average (11-for-26), three home runs and five RBI over 12 games, benefited significantly from the first healthy offseason of his professional baseball career, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "Last year I didn't really have much of an offseason because I had a knee scope in February, missed Spring Training and was thrown right into the season," Lewis said, crediting training two months with the Mariners in Arizona and another two months in Florida for his big jump in production from last season to this spring. "I just focused on my overall strength, body control, balance."
Lewis' batting average was just shy of Jay Bruce's team-leading .433, a sign of just how successful his first exposure to big-league arms was. The 23-year-old has been besieged by injuries since Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made him the first first-round pick of his tenure, but the clean bill of health he's enjoyed since the latter portion of last season clearly paid dividends this spring. Lewis will still open the season at Double-A Arkansas, but an ascension to Triple-A Tacoma is very likely at some point in the coming campaign if he's able to replicate a similar caliber of play.
Lewis went 2-for-3 with a double, a solo home run and two runs overall in a 6-4 Cactus League loss to the Cubs on Tuesday.
Lewis was part of a Mariners squad comprised of minor-leaguers that took on a Cubs lineup replete with regulars. That included starter Yu Darvish, who Lewis laced a leadoff double off of in the fourth. The 23-year-old is slated to open the season at Double-A Arkansas after a strong showing in big-league camp this spring.
Lewis was reassigned to minor-league camp Monday, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Lewis had a solid run at the dish in big-league camp, hitting .389 with two home runs, four RBI, a stolen base and six runs scored. The former first-round pick slashed .220/.309/.371 over 37 games with Double-A Arkansas a season ago and could remain with the Travelers to open the 2019 campaign.
Lewis (finger) will start in right field and bat seventh Monday against the Reds in his Cactus League debut, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Lewis jammed his finger in a base-running drill in the first week of camp, resulting in the Mariners holding him out for the initial three games of the exhibition slate. Aside from a brief shutdown from swinging, Lewis wasn't withheld from most other baseball activities and shouldn't be too far behind the rest of the Seattle position players heading into 2019. The 2016 first-round pick could be booked for a return trip to Double-A Arkansas to begin the upcoming campaign after struggling in his first exposure to the Texas League last season with a .220/.309/.371 batting line in 152 plate appearances.
X-rays on Lewis' injured finger came back negative, but he won't swing a bat for a few days as an extra precaution, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
The outfield prospect dislocated his pinky finger sliding into second base Wednesday, but there's little concern about the injury moving forward. The Mariners are simply being extra careful with Lewis given his injury history, so he figures to be full-go once he's allowed to swing again.
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