Kyle Seager Wakes Up, Sign of Things To Come?
By Matt Seto
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Seager has been quiet…too quiet. After his last two seasons, we all expected some big things from Kyle Seager in 2014. I know I did, that’s why I drafted him in my fantasy league. But so far he’s been really slow to start, and it’s making us all antsy.
Up until last night that is. Seager went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored on Monday and we can optimistically say that he’s recovering from his slump. Maybe that’s a bit premature, but those are flashes of what we’re expecting from the Mariners’ third baseman who hit 22 HRs and 69 RBIs last season.
It’s been a painfully slow start for Seager. Even his Cactus league play left a lot to be desired (.191/.253/.265). But we continued to chalk it up to a slump, after all he’s been consistent over the two full season’s he’s played in Seattle. I mean, back-to-back seasons that were almost identical at 20+ HRs and 70+ RBIs, certainly says something. So what’s been happening?
According to manager Lloyd McClendon, Seager has been all up in his head too much. Its so simple, his brain is getting in the way!
"…I told him, the sooner you get out of the way of yourself and let your talents take over, it will happen.-Lloyd McClendon on Kyle Seager’s early season struggles"
McClendon isn’t worried at all about Seager’s performance, it’s a slump and he’ll bust out of it sooner or later. Though sooner would be preferable. Playing this week in Texas is just what the doctor ordered for the struggling third baseman. Seager has been markedly better in Arlington over his short career, and yesterday was no exception. Maybe it was the new drills that he’s been working on with his swing.
According to Ryan Divish, Seager has been working on shortening his stride at the plate recently. No word yet on if he’s doing the Robinson Cano bean-ball drills yet.
Whatever it was that he tapped into last night, it would be best if he could continue to do so. Not surprisingly, he’s one of the least productive guys in the lineup so far this young season. Guys like Mike Zunino, Dustin Ackley and even Michael Saunders are putting up better numbers so far, and they aren’t supposed to be our run-producers. Maybe we’re just witnessing a little bit of that high expectation slumping that we saw Dustin Ackley go through early last year.
Either way, it’s just a slump. Seager has put up decent batting stats too consistently over the last two years to be a fluke. Though, the best part of this whole thing is that in the midst of a slow start, the rest of the Mariners have picked up the slack, and I’m not referring to Robinson Cano. I mean that low order guys are still driving in runs, getting into scoring position and converting runs into wins.
For the first time in a while, this team actually feels like a team, and not just a few bats scattered through the lineup interspersed with guaranteed outs. As Seager pulls himself back into form, the batting order only gets more dangerous, so why not us?