Soul Patrol: Kyle Lewis & Taylor Trammell Give Mariners Dynamic Offensive Potential

Soul Patrol: Kyle Lewis & Taylor Trammell Give Mariners Dynamic Offensive Potential

The return of Taylor Trammell and Kyle Lewis has injected some much-needed soul power into the Seattle Mariners as they look to get back into the AL West division race after a slow start to 2022.

 

Take That | Former Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis Returns

Last week the Mariners locker room and offense got a much-needed boost after learning outfielder Taylor Trammell was called up from Triple A to make his season debut after suffering a hamstring injury that had him sidelined since early April.

Trammell is one of the top rated prospects in the Mariners organization.  He was originally selected as the 35th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Mount Paran Christian School in Georgia, where he was considered one of the best two-sport athletes in the state.

Then in 2019 he was sent to the Padres in a three-team trade that involved Trevor Bauer before ultimately landing in Seattle following a 2020 deal for Austin Nola.

Trammell joined a Mariners team that in 2021 had more Black players on their roster than any other Major League organization.

J.P. Crawford, Kyle Lewis, Taylor Trammell, Kenyan Middleton, Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn were all a part of the core that saw 90 wins last season, which were the most in franchise history since the 93 games they won in 2003, which happens to be the last time they made the playoffs.

 

 

Trammell got his first start of the season this past Friday night, helping the team beat down Cy Young candidate and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander.

In the fourth inning and in true MLBbro fashion, he became the first Mariner to bunt for a base hit this season. Then in the sixth, he smoked the ninth home run of his career to officially put the candle out on Verlander’s night.

That homer by Trammell was one of four hit by a Mariners player under the age of 27 in the same game, which had only happened four times in the franchise’s history.

 

 

One of those four home runs was hit by 2020 MLB Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.  It was the first for Lewis since March 28 of last season and looks like it could be the beginning of his ascendence back into the conversation of best young talents in baseball.

Entering Sunday Lewis had homered in two straight games and driven in three runs against Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.  

It was the fourth straight game Lewis saw his name in the lineup as the Mariners Designated Hitter, a role it appears he will have for the foreseeable future coming off his ACL injury.

His name was originally in Seattle’s Sunday lineup, but ultimately the team would decide to let him rest for the day, which is not surprising with it being a day game after a night game.

Coming into the season the Mariners were a popular pick to not only make the playoffs but also make a run at bringing a World Series Championship to the Emerald City.  However, entering Sunday they sit seven games under .500 and have not gotten much of anything on the offensive side of the ball from anyone not named J.P. Crawford or Julio Rodriguez, who has filled in nicely in center field for Lewis.

The energy Trammell brings to the locker room will need to be matched by his production at the plate. In 51 games last season he batted .160, had an on base percentage of just .256 to go along with eight home runs, 18 runs batted in and two steals.

This week the Mariners will match up against Cedric Mullins and the Baltimore Orioles before heading down to Texas to face off against Marcus Semien’s Rangers.

 

It’s The Return Of The Funky Child | MLBbro Kyle Lewis Is Black In Action

It’s The Return Of The Funky Child | MLBbro Kyle Lewis Is Black In Action

The Seattle Mariners were excited to see their talented outfielder Kyle Lewis back in action on Tuesday.

And we were, too.

It’s almost been a year since Lewis last played in an MLB game. The time finally came for him against the Oakland Athletics. Lewis put on a show for the home crowd, going 2-for-4 as the Mariners suffered a 7-5 loss to the A’s.

Lewis was the designated hitter in his season debut and you couldn’t help but smile seeing him walk up to the plate.

In an article from The Seattle Times, Lewis talked about the experience and how it felt for him in his first game back.

“Really, really special,” Lewis said of the atmosphere during the game. “I had just kind of a little moment of reflection. Just being out for so long to get that kind of reception, it definitely made me feel special.”

And our MLBbro looked good out there for someone who hadn’t suited up and played a big league game since last May..

 

 

“My swing felt good, it felt like I wanted it to,” he said. “But I really wanted that one later in the game just to try to help us get the win, but it’s still good to be back.”

Lewis suffered a right meniscus tear last season in June and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. That was a big blow to the Mariners’ organization and certainly a big blow to Lewis’ career. Going into this season, the big question was: When will Lewis return? 

Now that he’s back in action, Seattle will keep a close eye and monitor Lewis daily.

 

 

Mariners manager Scott Servais talked about how good he thought Lewis looked before the game on Tuesday.

“I talked to him after the game last night and he felt like it was good to go,” he said pregame. “He’s moving around OK this morning, so he’ll be back out there and hopefully keep swinging it. I thought he looked really good last night. It’s a good way to start, great to have him back in our lineup, hopefully he can do even bigger things today.”

Servais was also pleased with the 26-year-old’s performance and knows it’s not easy coming back after being away for an extended period of time.

“It’s hard to walk out and perform like that right out of the chute,” Servais said. “He did last night. He looked very comfortable. His timing was really good. That’s the thing you’re most worried about when players show up again. I know he’s been playing in Triple-A, but sometimes it gets a little bit different. The velocity picks up here and the lights get a little brighter.”

Lewis has put up some productive numbers throughout his career. He has hit over .240 in each of his three seasons, showing signs of promise.

He is an all-around talent who can hit for power and run with speed. In the field he can cover a lot of ground and has an above-average arm. Lewis definitely can be the future centerfielder for the Mariners –  if he can stay healthy.

Each game he plays in will be an important one and he will have all the eyes on him as well. But Lewis is ready to showcase his talents and play at a high level.

Kyle Lewis Is Returning To The Diamond | Seattle Mariners Just Leveled Up

Kyle Lewis Is Returning To The Diamond | Seattle Mariners Just Leveled Up

The long awaited return of Kyle Lewis to the Seattle Mariners lineup is near.  The 2020 American League Rookie of The Year began his rehab assignment Tuesday in style – with a first-swing home run – as he looks to help them reach the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.

Lewis made his return to the diamond Tuesday night after missing a large majority of last season with a torn meniscus in his right knee.  He only played in 36 games before the injury – the same knee he had surgery on earlier in his career.

It was Lewis’s first plate appearance in Triple-A, since he skipped straight to the Majors from Double-A. He gave the people of Tacoma, Washington something to cheer about.

He watched a ball and a strike go by before hitting a home run on his first swing.  It was the first home run for Lewis since he took the Oakland A’s deep May 31st of last season – also the last time Lewis played a Major League game.

The Return Of Kyle Lewis Has The Mariners Thinking Audaciously

When his second at-bat came around Lewis continued his RBI party, driving in a run on an up-the-middle single to give Tacoma a 3-0 lead.

His third hit was a late-game rally starter for the Rainers, beginning a comeback to win the game.  He took the first pitch of his 6th inning at-bat up the middle to center field to cut into the lead.  Tacoma would go on to win the game 13-11. Lewis finished 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs and three runs batted in.

Winning or losing Tuesday’s slugfest ultimately takes a backseat to the positive outlook and performance Lewis had at the plate.  Now it is not a question of if Lewis will return, but when.

Last season was a special one for Seattle.  Although they missed the playoffs, they had their most wins (90) since 2002 and 2003. Both those years the team reached the 93 win plateau.  Winning a majority of those games without Lewis – the team’s best offensive player in 2020 – was an impressive feat.

Lewis was named the unanimous 2020 American League Rookie of The Year after posting a .264 batting average, .801 OPS, 11 home runs, five steals and 28 RBI during the COVID-shortened season.

He did get off to a slow start last season, only batting .161 during the month of April. It seemed he had just taken a turn for the better with a .273 average, three home runs and nine RBI May but his injury would come shortly after.

Lewis entered the league with one of the most accomplished college baseball resumes in the sport.  He was named the Southern Conference Baseball Player of The Year as well as co-winner of the Gregg Olson Award for College Baseball’s best breakout player in his sophomore year.

His junior year, he was named an All-American by four major baseball writing associations, in addition to receiving the Golden Spikes award for the best college baseball player.  He also won his second Southern Conference Player of The Year award and was voted American Baseball Coaches Division 1 National Player of the Year –  all en route to getting drafted by the Mariners 11th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft.

There is an excess of talent in the Mariners organization, from the 26 on the Major League roster to players coming out of baseball’s current top farm system. But Lewis may be their best offensive player when healthy and is coming for someone’s locker in the near future.

Lewis will join J.P. Crawford, who has been mashing at the plate this season, showing off his new found power swing.  Crawford is currently sixth in the league in on base percentage and ninth in the league in OPS.

There’s no timetable for Lewis’ return to the Major League lineup, but those scary hours are surely on the horizon sooner rather than later.

Kyle Lewis Is Returning To The Diamond | Seattle Mariners Just Leveled Up

The Absence of MLBbro Kyle Lewis Continues To Hover Over The Seattle Mariners To Start The Season

The Absence of Kyle Lewis Continues To Hover Over The Seattle Mariners To Start The Season

Kyle Lewis was to be a major part of the Seattle Mariners rebuilding plans a couple of seasons ago.  At the time, He was considered not only one of the most impactful players on the team, but also potentially the AL West. Kyle taking home the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year further solidified those beliefs.

The Return Of Kyle Lewis Has The Mariners Thinking Audaciously

However in 2021, knee issues led to surgery for a torn meniscus ended his season at just 36 games. Despite the fact Lewis has been active in spring training, hitting, playing catch and some running, the team has not released him to do all baseball related activities. At this stage in his recovery, he’ll probably be out of the lineup when the Seattle Mariners take the field to start the season.

When Kyle Lewis is cleared, the Mariners face the challenge of keeping him in the lineup in situations where they can keep him healthy to continue to build on his rookie year contributions. Despite the fact that the best theoretical option is to put Lewis in center field, his injury history is a concern. Julio Rodriguez, a player Seattle is very high on, could take over center field.

If Rodriguez does man center field, Seattle could move Lewis to left field, protecting his body with less area to cover. A more reliable option for both parties could be moving him to DH in the lineup while playing him in the outfield a few games a week.

The Mariners have not made a decision on a primary DH in the lineup yet. If Seattle moves Kyle to the DH spot, it opens up options in the outfield. Not only will Rodriguez get playing time, but also Lewis’ bat stays in the lineup.

Even though he’s progressing, Kyle realizes that patience is a virtue – despite his desire to get back on the field.

“Definitely tough, I have a lot of conversations about what can I do today, Larson said in a King5.com. interview. What can I do, but you know, you do have to trust that, and me being a person who’s had to do multiple knee rehabs in my career is kind of, you know over time, I feel like you kind of get a little bit more understanding of patience. As soon as I can I’ll be out there and doing what I can to help the guys. So just try to lean on that.”

 

According to Baseball Reference, Lewis finished 2021 with hitting numbers of .246/.333/.392, before the knee injury ended his campaign.