SEATTLE MARINERS

Servais: Mariners’ Kyle Seager using whole field more, could have big year

Mar 22, 2018, 2:46 PM

Kyle Seager is a one-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner who has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his six full major league seasons. Yet there’s still a hope that the Mariners’ 30-year-old third baseman can put together a season that isn’t just good or very good, but great.

That may come this year, and if so, adjustments he’s made at the plate could be the reason why.

Robinson Cano sees potential in how Mariners’ lineup is constructed

“Kyle is always tweaking with his mechanics and one of the things that I did notice different is that he was able to (get) on top of balls, hitting them the other way,” Mariners manager Scott Servais told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore about Seager this spring training.

Servais hopes that a new focus on using more of the field while in the batter’s box will help Seager shake off a somewhat down year in 2017 when he finished with a .249 batting average and 2.5 WAR, both career-lows for a full MLB season by Seager.

“I think last year wasn’t a typical Kyle Seager year,” Servais said. “You look at the overall numbers and I think they’re pretty good, they’re very respectable. He’s a heck of a player, I love putting his name in the lineup every day, but I think he’s looking for a little bit more. He certainly knows there’s more in the tank there and he can do more.

“He just never really got on that hot streak last year. We’ve always seen him have those two- or three-week streaks where he carries the team. Didn’t see it so much last year, but he’s been in a great place all spring. Really excited about the year he’s gonna have.”

Servais: May be something to bad luck theory with Mariners’ trident logo

Through Wednesday, Seager has a .300/.349/.450 slash line in 14 Cactus League games with a home run, three doubles, four RBIs and two walks.

Teams have used defensive shifts against the pull-heavy Seager in recent years, but he’s shown more promise hitting to the opposite field this spring (see video above), which could eventually force teams to stop shifting on him. That isn’t for certain what motivated Seager’s adjustments, however.

“(He’s hitting) hard ground balls, line drives into left-center field – we’ve all seen Kyle hit so many balls off the bat that get caught right at the wall. You know, those long, high fly balls into left-center field at Safeco,” Servais said. “… I think as far as his approach and what he’s trying to do, I don’t think it’s necessarily geared to beating the shift. (But) I think that’s going to be the end result of it because he’s using the whole field more to hit, which makes him a more dangerous hitter and certainly a guy (that has an) opportunity to drive in over 100 runs this year.”

Hear the full interview with Servais in the Danny, Dave and Moore podcast.

Jim Moore’s observations from Mariners spring training

Wyman & Bob

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Chance Rain Showers
High 60° | Low 48°
No game today.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners prospect Jonny Farmelo...

Zac Hereth

Top Mariners prospect out for season with torn ACL

Seattle Mariners general manager Justin Hollander announces touted outfield prospect Jonny Farmelo is out for the season with a torn ACL.

1 hour ago

Seattle Mariners CF Julio Rodriguez...

Zac Hereth

Watch: Julio blasts two-run shot against Rangers

Seattle Mariners CF Julio Rodríguez clubs his seventh home run of the season to give his team a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers.

2 hours ago

Seattle Mariners division rival's catcher...

Zac Hereth

Key Ranger hits paternity list during series with Mariners

The Texas Rangers put switch-hitting catcher Jonah Heim on the paternity list during their series with the Seattle Mariners.

5 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Pete Woodworth...

Brent Stecker

Former Mariners pitcher highlights two unsung heroes of pitching staff

Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Sadler shared some interesting insight on catcher Cal Raleigh and pitching coach Pete Woodworth with Brock and Salk.

10 hours ago

Seattle Mariners reliever Ryne Stanek...

Shane Lantz

Mariners open key series with 3-2 victory over Rangers

Luis Castillo pitches six strong innings and Mitch Garver blasts a two-run home run in a 3-2 victory for the Seattle Mariners.

21 hours ago

Seattle Mariners DH Mitch Garver...

Zac Hereth

Watch: Mariners’ Mitch Garver greets former team with game-tying HR

Seattle Mariners DH Mitch Garver hits a two-run home run to tie the game against the Texas Rangers in the first inning.

23 hours ago

Servais: Mariners’ Kyle Seager using whole field more, could have big year