EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Tyler Smith

The first call up.

It’s something every single minor league baseball player dreams about, and for Tyler Smith that dream came true when he was promoted to the Mariners in light of an injury to Jean Segura, and it was something he had an idea was about to happen.

“It was my first callup so yeah it was pretty special,” Smith said. “It’s something I’ve been working towards for four years now and obviously my whole life as well so yeah it was an awesome feeling being able to go up and help the team as best I could in the utility role and now coming back down trying to get back into a rhythm. And yeah I had an idea when I saw the injury, knowing how some things shaped up in the organization and that they would need someone to play short a little bit, so yeah I figured it was a possibility.”

It was a different animal for Smith, not just being in the big leagues. Being an everyday starter for most of his career, he had to adjust and find a way to stay on his toes while not playing everyday as Taylor Motter received most of the starts at short.

“It’s a challenge for sure,” he added. “Being an everyday player for my career and trying to make an adjustment not at this level but at the big league level is tough. Those couple starts I got were against possible All-Stars too, so it’s a tough adjustment but I got my feet wet and hopefully next time I’ll be more prepared.

It was an incredibly ideal start for Smith too, as with his dad watching in his first game on the roster, he laced a double in a pinch hiting role for his first career hit. It was the thrill of a lifetime for Smith, especially being able to do it in front of his father.

“I can’t even describe it,” he said. “It’s hard to explain. It’s a feeling I’ll always remember¬† and hopefully I got more of those coming up in my career but that was definitely a thrill and having my dad there to see it too was pretty special.”

Smith knew though, that his stint would likely be temporarily and sure enough when Jean Segura returned from injury Smith was sent back down to Tacoma to make room for the star shortstop. Smith took a lot out of his time up there though, and learned a lot.

“I had a meeting with (Scott) Servais the manager and he just let me know and we had a 5-10 minute meeting and that was pretty much that,” he mentioned. “But I really took a lot of out it and learning how to prepare was really the biggest thing for me. I also kind of learned about coming off that bench not playing everyday and kind of going through that process and it gets to be late in the game and I have to get loose and take some swings and that’s a pretty big learning experience.”

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