HOUSTON — For the second time this season, Kyle Seager was named the player of the week in the American League. His reward for the achievement — a wrist watch from Major League Baseball, so now he’ll have two.
“It’s a really nice watch,” Seager said. “A little too fancy to wear. That’s for the shelf in the man cave.”
While a second watch was a nice reward, the honor meant Seager had to talk to the media about himself — something he enjoys about as much as striking out looking with the bases loaded.
“I’m not a big fan of it,” he said. “I’d rather be talking about Felix and what he did.”
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When told that teammate Felix Hernandez finished behind him in the voting for the weekly award, Seager replied, “Well, he should have won.”
Perhaps, but Seager’s numbers were pretty impressive over the past seven days.
“It’s an honor and I’m really happy to get it this time,” he said.
In six games last week, Seager racked up 14 hits, hitting .583 (14 for 24) with a .958 slugging percentage and driving in a league-high eight runs. He had hits in every game last week, helping the Mariners to a 4-2 record. The 14 hits included a pair of homers to go with three doubles and five runs scored. He had five multi-hit games.
“I’m definitely a lot more comfortable in there,” he said. “I’m definitely feeling better. Some of the stuff we’ve been working on is starting to creep in the game, which is always nice.”
Manager Lloyd McClendon holds his young third baseman to high standards because he knows how good Seager could be in the future.
“He’s been great,” 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.”
The Mariners will go with a shortened bench for the next few games. Instead of optioning out reliever Brandon Maurer to make room for Taijuan Walker, the organization decided to option outfielder Stefen Romero to Class AAA Tacoma.
Maurer’s dominance as a reliever in two outings has something to do with it.
“This guy has been pretty impressive,” McClendon said. “It’s pretty hard to ignore. He’s been pretty impressive in the few times and we’d like to see more of him.”
• James Paxton threw a 35-pitch bullpen Monday afternoon. He said everything went well. He will throw a bullpen session Friday of around 45 to 50 pitches. If that goes well, he’ll throw a simulated game during the next homestand.
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.