This morning, Kyle Lewis very nicely sat down with Arizona Diamondbacks’ press to answer questions via Zoom call. Recently traded from Seattle to Arizona for Cooper Hummel, Kyle Lewis met some of the reporters who will be writing about his exploits from now on.
There was no preamble, so I’ll get straight to the good stuff!
First up was a question about his initial reaction to the trade and how he feels now, two weeks later. Lewis said he was surprised because Seattle was the only organization he’d known as a professional. It took him a few days to adjust to the idea of not wearing the Mariners’ logo anymore, but with the help of family he came to terms with the move and is ready and excited to turn the page and be part of Arizona’s quest back to the postseason!
The next question was about his history with Arizona players and the state in general. Lewis said he really only knows some players in passing (he played against them often in the MiLB whose schedule is often more based on location than the MLB’s - think COVID 2020 season style), but he has spoken to both Torey and some of the guys. Seth Beer and Nick Ahmed were the two mentioned by name, which makes sense as Beer is a former hyped prospect designated for a lot of DH time and Ahmed has extensive history with the team, specifically the medical staff, both of which are likely to be very beneficial for Lewis in Phoenix. I am sure other players have reached out as well and/or will start bringing him into the fold as the Holiday Season winds down and baseball activity winds back up! He does live on the East side of Phoenix, having moved to the city for training purposes, but now gets to have a single home for all seasons of the year!
When asked about the psychological aspect of being traded, Kyle discussed the shake up to his normal routine and getting used to reaching out to new people for important information.
Old SnakePitter Jack Sommers asked the loaded question(s) next: How is the body and his thoughts on the intended role he has on the team. Very poised, Lewis must have known questions of this type were coming. He said he’s feeling good with his rehab and future. He believes he still has upside and he’s ready to show what he can do when camp starts. He touched on the ups and downs he’s experienced since his rookie season (generally, no specifics) and stated that he’s ready to play any role the organization needs him to so long as it helps the team win (no specific role has been laid out to him for what he’ll be doing in 2023 at this point).
Throughout the interview, Kyle mentioned his family often and always with a smile. When confronted with an inquiry for the specifics of discussing the trade with his family, Lewis reiterated how important family is to him and his emotional wellbeing. His parents and brother helped him grow up learning to take everything in stride and keep moving forward. Even though his entire world has changed in the last two weeks, some things have stayed the same: family is always there supporting him. They have helped him move and it sounded like possibly even participated in visits with his new organization.
The final few questions fell into two categories: playing and his feelings towards himself, his situation, etc. For the playtime, he was asked about how he has adjusted to being DH primarily, as some guys have a hard time keeping track of the game when they aren’t playing. He said he was uncertain about being a DH originally, but has since learned to create routines between innings so he can stay abreast of what’s going on. He’s also learned to forecast and inning and know when he needs to get hot for an at bat. He likes the ability to hit the cage mid-game (sometimes with a coach) and enjoys the new exercises that come with all the above. He was also asked about the Chase Field Outfield shape/dimensions/etc. Lewis has only played a single series in Chase thus far, but he remembers that it was big and possibly less “round” than T-Mobile Park in Seattle. He didn’t seem worried about learning the field and running around, although as GM Mike Hazen brought up two weeks ago in the presser about the trade, Lewis wasn’t targeted for his defensive spot; he was targeted for the upside in his bat.
Finally, Kyle Lewis answered questions about his MLB experience, the reports that he ended last season at odds with the Mariners over playing time, himself as a player and how he feels about leaving Seattle. The point Lewis returned to often was how you have to learn from your experiences and move forward. He acknowledged the ups and downs of his last three seasons and how you need to continue writing chapters in your book regardless of what’s happening. As a player, Kyle described himself as smart. He knows who he is and what he can do. He wants to keep being the best version of himself on the field. For defense, he believes in his upside and has learned to be both smart and efficient in the field. He didn’t touch on relations with Seattle, but he reiterated how excited he is to begin helping Arizona chase down a playoff spot, possibly in 2023. Although when specifically speaking about the 2023 season, he said his goal was a “memorable” season rather than really touching on postseason appearances.
All-in-all, Kyle Lewis impressed me with his poise and maturity. Regardless of how he performs on the field in 2023, it was obvious that he has taken important life lessons from his MLB career thus far. His career has been defined by the highest of highs and some seriously low lows. At 27 years old (he won’t be 28 until mid-July), he speaks with the resignation of a man 10 years older who still thinks he has something to offer a club. We all sincerely hope he can provide Arizona with more value than an aging vet, and I fully understand the wonderful sentiment and love Mariners fans exuded for him online two weeks ago.
Good luck Kyle! I look forward to watching you don Sedona Red in the next chapter of your story!