On Tuesday (or more accurately early Wednesday morning), I grabbed Jean Segura for my on-field interview following the Mariners’ 6-5 win in 13 innings over the Red Sox. Segura had the game-winning single, the first walk-off hit of his career, but gave much credit to the work that was done by Guillermo Heredia before he stepped to the plate.
“This kid has been playing awesome for us,” Segura said. “On the offensive side, the defensive side, how he has been running down the fly balls. Every time I tell him, ‘You are not playing every day right now but when you get the chance, you enjoy it and keep having good at-bats.'”
Segura encouraging a (barely) younger player on the team is nothing new. Taylor Motter said Segura was extremely supportive both times he took over at shortstop because of injury, telling him the position was his now, go out and play. This is great to see from a player who is going to be in that Mariners clubhouse for a long time. It’s one thing to take care of your own business – and Major League players have plenty on their plates – but it’s another to help someone else. It’s taking ownership in his new team.
“It’s part of the game,” Segura said. “When you are not playing every day you don’t want to give away your at-bats. I am a little bit of a vet, I have a couple years in the big leagues and I can share some secrets with these kids because they are gong to be here for a long time.”
Help a teammate and you are helping your team. The Mariners are 8-5 since the All-Star break with four extra-innings wins. Segura has his eye on the wild-card spot that the Mariners are currently 3.5 games out of with two teams ahead of them.
“We are playing well,” he said. “We are not far from the wild card. We want to keep pushing. We have got Felix (Hernandez) back, (James) Paxton has dominated, (Yovani) Gallardo looked good the other day. I think we have got everybody together and I think we are going to be close.”