Seager named AL Player of the Week
Infielder led league with eight RBIs, hit .583 to earn second career weekly award
HOUSTON -- Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager earned his second American League Player of the Week honor this season when he was selected Monday for his outstanding play from June 23-29, when he hit .583 with two home runs and eight RBIs in six games.
But in typical Seager fashion, the 26-year-old said he felt teammate Felix Hernandez deserved the award more after his own outstanding week. Seager is not much of a self-promoter, though his play spoke for itself as he posted a 1.542 OPS in the six-game homestand.
"Not a big fan of it, no," Seager said of talking about his accomplishments. "I'd much rather be talking about Felix right now and how good he is. He should have won it."
Hernandez was one of five other AL players nominated for the award after going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 15 innings. But Seager surely earned the honor as his red-hot bat helped the Mariners win four of six games and hiked Seager's batting average to .277 from .250.
"He's been great," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I think the light is starting to flicker a little bit. He's getting better. Even his outs have been real tough outs. I think he's starting to understand what we're talking about and what we'd like him to accomplish, and he's becoming a better hitter.
"I know he's got power and is going to hit 20-plus home runs, but my goal is to see him become a complete hitter, and that means using the entire field to hit, becoming a tough out with two strikes and runners in scoring position. I think he's getting better at it."
Seager said he had benefitted this season by picking the brain of new teammate Robinson Cano as well as hitting coach Howard Johnson and McClendon, the former hitting coach for the Tigers.
"I know the adjustments I was making last year and what I was trying to accomplish, but I feel a lot more comfortable being able to repeat it in the positions I'm in now," he said. "I definitely feel better about the whole approach now. But it's still kind of evolving and things change pretty quickly, so hopefully we'll make a couple more strides forward and ultimately get to where I want to be."
Seager listed working on his balance at the plate, using the whole field particularly against shifting defenses and controlling the strike zone as areas in which he was still working. Hitting fourth behind Cano lately hasn't hurt either.
"You get pitched to a lot more out of the stretch; I've noticed that," he said with a smile. "You can get slide-stepped a lot more hitting behind him. It's good because if he's on base, they kind of have to go at you because there's already people on base and you don't want to put more people on. So you have to be more aggressive. That doesn't necessarily just mean more fastballs, but you can't nibble quite as much the way the top of the order has been getting on base. It's been great all around."
Seager also won the award for April 21-27 when he was co-Player of the Week with the White Sox's Jose Abreu. Hernandez also won the award for June 2-8, making this the first time Seattle has had three Player of the Week awards in the same season since 2006 (Raul Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki and Joel Pineiro).
Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum earned the National League weekly honor after throwing his second career no-hitter on Wednesday.