During a recent visit to Colorado Springs, I had the chance to sit down with Tim Smalling, one of the newest members of the Sky Sox. The utility player joined Colorado Springs on June 7 after appearing in 16 games for Double-A Tulsa before being placed on the disabled list on May 5. Smalling was activated on June 5 and immediately sent to Triple-A.
While with Tulsa, Smalling batted .260 with six RBIs. After his call-up, Smalling made an immediate impact on Colorado Springs, going 5-for-8 with four RBIs in his first two games with the Sky Sox. Heading into action on June 16, Smalling had cooled off from his torrid start, posting an overall .276 average with Colorado Springs.
Kevin Henry: You were activated from the DL and received an immediate promotion. Was that a surprise for you?
Tim Smalling: It was a surprise but very exciting. I was told I was coming here to fill in one of the roster spots. There were some extra guys in Tulsa and it worked out well for me to come here. I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity. While I was on the disabled list, I kept getting my at-bats and working. I was ready to go and ready to report back to Tulsa. Instead, I reported straight to the Sky Sox when they were playing in Iowa.
Henry: It’s your first taste of Triple-A. What are your goals?
Smalling: I’m just trying to go out and help this team win. Whatever happens, happens. If I stay up here all year, great. If I go back to Tulsa, great. I just want to play good baseball and help these guys win.
Henry: In your first-ever home game for Colorado Springs, you went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs. What kind of confidence boost was that for you?
Smalling: It definitely helps with the confidence, knowing you can play at this level and with these guys. I played with a lot of these guys in spring training in past years. They kind of made me feel welcome and made me feel at home. It's been fun so far.
Henry: What did you learn the most during your time in Tulsa at Double-A?
Smalling: There are a lot of good competitors at the Double-A level, but there are a lot of good players at the Triple-A level.