Can MLBbro Kyle Lewis Regain His NL Rookie of the Year Swagger in Arizona?

Can MLBbro Kyle Lewis Regain His NL Rookie of the Year Swagger in Arizona?

MLBbro Kyle Lewis seems to have found a stable home with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being traded from the Seattle Mariners. After being part of a virtual MLBbro farm system in Seattle featuring talented fellow MLBbros, Taylor Trammel, Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield, JP Crawford and Shed Long, Lewis’ showcase of talent was seen far and in between due to knee and leg injuries. Those injuries got Kyle off to a late start in spring training, missing Arizona’s first 10 games.

 

 

Kyle Lewis Make His Comeback With Arizona Diamondbacks

But when our MLBbro got on the baseball diamond, he cemented his place on the roster by tearing up opposing pitching with a hitting slash of .480/.581/.960 in his first 31 plate appearances. Add on three home runs and three doubles, the Diamondbacks have already made plans to insert him into the designated hitter role against left-handed pitching. 

  

 

When approached last week about his journey throughout spring training, our MLBbro was very optimistic about his unusual progress combining rehab and live game work.

 

“It’s going well, I think it’s just about being consistent,” Lewis said on Thursday. “Just be consistent with the preparation and trying to get my body to a place where I wanted to be able to make an impact this year.”

 

“Hitting all the marks and adding to the workload every day and ability to play more and more, start playing back-to-backs hopefully and then go from there.”

 

That’s definitely what Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen is hoping for. Lewis was in his sights when he was with the Boston Red Sox front office back in 2016. Boston just missed potentially taking him with the 12th pick before Seattle snatched him up with the 11th pick.

 

Rookie of the Year Honors To Possible Stardom?  

 

Kyle Lewis was supposed to be one of the centerpieces of the Mariners youth movement a few seasons ago. He wasn’t just one of the most talented up and coming players on the team, but the AL West division. Our MLBbro’s 2020 American League Rookie of the Year performance did little to diminish those narratives.

 

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

 

 

Injuries End A Promising Tenure In Seattle

 

The 2021 season was the start of a tough injury stretch for our MLBbro. Surgery from a torn meniscus held Lewis to just 36 games and limited his baseball activities to the point he started the season late the 2022 season.

 

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

 

A concussion limited Lewis to 18 games before he was optioned to Triple A Tacoma.

 

The Here And Now For MLBbro, Kyle Lewis

 

Despite only playing 54 games with a batting average of .215 with only eight homers, Mike Hazen is confident in what Kyle Lewis brings to the table.

 

“He’s a good fit for us, we’re taking a shot at some upside here. He has the power potential, he’s gotten on base when healthy. We feel like this is a good opportunity for us to acquire some potential impact,” Arizona brass said. 

 

 

Look for our MLBbro to contribute primarily at the DH spot to start the season, but the major change will be in the field. Lewis will be moving to left field from center field. Arizona will look for him to bring occasional power from the right side of the plate.

MLBbro Devin Williams ‘AKA’ Airbender Will Be In LA For His First All-Star Game | As He Should

MLBbro Devin Williams ‘AKA’ Airbender Will Be In LA For His First All-Star Game | As He Should

Devin Williams aka the Airbender will represent Black pitchers around the world after being named to the National League All-Star Team.

 

 

Entering Sunday Milwaukee’s Devin Williams has gone 26 consecutive appearances without giving up a single run, a streak that dates all the way back to a May 10 outing in Cincinnati.

Since that night Williams has made a case for being the most dominant pitcher, not just reliever, in the Majors, so it was a surprise to many around the sport that it took this long for him to be named to the National League All-Star Roster.

This year Williams is leading all relievers in holds and has a 1.77 ERA with 59 strikeouts and six saves in 39 games. 

 

 

During the month of June hitters only posted an average of .032 and as we just passed the halfway point of July, their average for this month stands at just 1.43.

Williams is a homegrown member to one of baseball’s most dominant staffs over the last five plus seasons. He was drafted out of Hazelwood West High School near St. Louis in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft.

It took him some time to bring his name up through the system.  He suffered an arm injury in the Spring Training of 2017 and was forced to miss a whole year recovering from Tommy John Surgery.

In his return season in 2019, Williams was selected to the All-Star Futures Game which also featured Jo Adell who singled, scored and walked twice, Justin Dunn, Royce Lewis, McKenzie Gore and Taylor Trammell who was named the games’ MVP.

He made his Major League debut that August, but it was not until the 2020 Covid shortened season that he made a name for himself.

That year, the Airbender won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, posting a 0.33 ERA and 53 strikeouts with just nine walks.  His ERA was the lowest in a single season for someone with at least 21 innings pitched since 1913 when earned runs officially became a statistic.

Out of his three Big League seasons, 2021 was the most trying.  His 2.50 ERA looks like it will remain his career high, although about 99 percent of relievers would take that number to the bank.

 

 

The ending of his year however did not go according to plan.

During the Brewers National League Central Championship celebration, Williams punched a wall and fractured his pitching hand, ending his season that night and leaving him unavailable for their playoff run.

This season Willams is making the most of a fresh start and this All-Star selection goes to show his mindset is where it needs to be in what could be a make-or-break season for the Brew Crew.

Williams joins Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Tim Anderson, Byron Buxton, Chisolm Jr. and George Springers as MLBbros to make the All-Star team.

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.

 

MLBbro 2021 Season Rewind | David Grubb Interviews Legendary Brutha Broadcaster Dave Sims

MLBbro 2021 Season Rewind | David Grubb Interviews Legendary Brutha Broadcaster Dave Sims

MLBbro.com reporter David Grubb had an in-depth conversation with one of the very best broadcasters in the business, Seattle Mariners play-by-play announcer Dave Sims.
Sims predicted early on that Seattle’s young core was ready to fight tooth and nail for a playoff spot for the first time in 20 years, breaking the longest postseason drought in North American pro sports.
Despite injuries to key MLBbros (Kyle Lewis, Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield), they came close and have great optimism for next season.

 

Ken Griffey Jr. Is An MLB Team Owner | The Kid Returns To Seattle To Guide Mariners Swag Attack

Ken Griffey Jr. Is An MLB Team Owner | The Kid Returns To Seattle To Guide Mariners Swag Attack

Hall of Famer and Seattle Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr. has joined the team’s ownership group, Mariners chairman John Stanton announced on Monday.

How fitting is it that Griffey Jr. buys into his former team which also happens to be full of MLBbros.

Players like Kyle Lewis and Allan Trammell and Shed Long and Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield and JP Crawford.

“The Kid” from Donora, Pennsylvania, was drafted by the Mariners at the age of 17, and patrolled center field for the ball club for more than a decade. His backward hat, sweet lefty swing, and defensive excellence was the essence of cool.

During his legendary career he was a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time Silver Slugger winner, four-time American League home run champ, American League RBI champ, and American League MVP.

He was also named to the Major League All-Century Team, as one of the 100 greatest players of the 20th century.

Griffey has served as a special consultant to the Mariners since 2011, and is the first Mariners player to join as a partner.

“We’re going to win,” Griffey said during a press conference at T-Mobile Park. “I don’t like losing. The guys who played with me and the guys I played against [know] I’m a very bad loser. And I take this responsibility to the highest level. I think being a 17-year-old kid getting drafted, I consider this like the guy who started in the mailroom and now has worked his way up. This is an opportunity, like I said, that I don’t take lightly.”

Griffey has spent time since his playing days ended immersing himself in the business side of baseball. In addition to his role as special consultant, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, and is also working as a senior adviser to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Lots of franchises have former players as owners or partners. Their stakes are often minor, and they have little influence over actual decisions of consequence.

These moves are often PR stunts, or popular names added to the marquee for ulterior motives. But that may not be the case here.

“Ken is the second new investing partner in the Seattle Mariners in the last 30 years, and the first in over 20 years,” Stanton said. “When we look at any issue with the Mariners, we start with what our mission is. Our mission is to win championships, to delight our fans and to serve our communities, and Ken joining the partnership helps us do all three things.”

Regardless, Junior is joining the ownership group of a franchise many believe is on the come-up. They finished this past season at 90-72 just outside the second AL wild-card spot, and the farm system is ranked No. 2 in MLB.

Good things may be on the horizon.

Griffey comes from a baseball family that spans five decades. His father Ken Griffey Sr. was a baseball savant as well and they are the only father-son duo to go back-to-back in an MLB game.

Griffey Sr. played from 1973 through 1991, most notably as a key cog in the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine” dynasty that won three division titles and two World Series championships between 1973 and 1976.

Griffey Sr. instilled the life lessons outside of baseball that put Junior in a position to think ownership.

The other major piece to this story is Junior joins the ranks of Black people in sports franchise ownership. An extremely small club to be clear. But he’s grown the roster.

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In a sport that has seen a precipitous drop in participation by Black players over the past 25 years, forget the coaching and executive ranks, Junior’s ascension hopefully will be the start of good things.

Story via The Shadow League