Trammell shares 'cool' moment with Miggy

June 10th, 2021

DETROIT -- When singled on Tuesday and reached Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, a part of him was taken over by celebrity. But he had to quickly gather himself before he became victim to one of Miggy’s goofball antics.

After Cabrera introduced himself and let Trammell take a lead, the future Hall of Famer jokingly yanked Trammell’s left arm as if to suggest he should stay closer to the bag. Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd, after all, has a strong pickoff move.

All of a sudden, Trammell -- who grew up playing the video game with Cabrera on MLB The Show -- was in a tussle of astute in-game focus and engaging with an icon.

“Like, so cool,” Trammell said. “He was talking to me, and I'm like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ It kind of hit me that I had to like play it cool. I don't know if he was trying to get me off guard or if he's just a cool guy, but I'm going to take it as he's a cool guy.”

Seattle’s 23-year-old outfielder wound up reaching second base on a single by J.P. Crawford, then Trammell doubled in the eighth off a slider from Daniel Norris, a telling sign that he’s made strides against secondary pitching. As Trammell hustled around first, Cabrera told him mid-stride “Nice swing!”

“He doesn't know, but it made my day. Actually, it made my whole career already,” Trammell said. “Just seeing a guy like him, how much success he’s had. For me, that’s unreal, just looking at him like, ‘Bro, you had no business being cool to me.’ … I don’t think he understands how much that meant to me.”

It’s these moments that have the vibrant and infectious Trammell smiling wide again following a tough stretch into early May, which culminated with a Minor League demotion. Being sent down, he said, provided a much-needed breather -- one that he relayed to Jarred Kelenic, who was in a similar rut which eventually led to the club's top prospect being optioned to Tacoma on Monday.

“I literally was just in his shoes, and it's not a good feeling initially,” Trammell said. “But just kind of say, ‘Forget it. I'm going to do my thing and be who I am.’ That's what I really tried to relate to him, just understanding, telling him, ‘You know who you are. You’re a beast. You’re Jarred Kelenic. You’re awesome.”

Following his 2-for-4 night amid his shenanigans with Miggy, Trammell entered Wednesday’s tilt with the Tigers hitting .280/.333/.520 (.853 OPS) in 27 plate appearances in seven games since being recalled. The sample size is obviously small, and general manager Jerry Dipoto pointed out that the jury is still out on if Trammell has completely fixed all the issues he had in his first stint.

But these are encouraging signs, backed by some under-the-hood stats: A 25.9% strikeout rate, way down from his MLB-worst 43.2% at the time of his demotion on May 13, and a .273 batting average against secondary pitches after hitting them at a .116 clip in his first stint.

“I think the biggest adjustment he's made is he's staying on plane and staying through the zone longer,” manager Scott Servais said. “You see his ability to hang in on the offspeed pitches, he got a couple knocks last night against the lefties. Great to see.”

But beyond the batter’s box, more than anything, Trammell is focusing on staying grounded.

“Comfortability,” Trammell said. “Here at the field, understanding who I am as a player, just in the simplest terms, it’s understanding that this is your job, but at the same time, not caring and just being yourself. … For me, being myself just boosts my confidence even more.”