Segura is hitting just .217 with a .248 on-base percentage since July 1.
ARLINGTON, Texas — About a half hour after the Mariners had pulled out a marathon 12-inning victory over the Rangers on Monday night, manager Scott Servais maneuvered his way through the visitor’s clubhouse of Globe Life Park to the locker of his starting shortstop.
Jean Segura was there dressing quickly to catch a bus back to the resort where the team stays for trips into Dallas-Fort Worth.
Servais approached Segura to inform that he would be out of the lineup on Tuesday for a much-needed day off. It’s not something Servais has done often with Segura, who has started 106 of the Mariners’ 114 games. Would Segura get irritated and argue against the decision like Kyle Seager? Would he be like Nelson Cruz and try to convince Servais to change his mind?
Nope, his reaction was pretty much pure Segura.
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“I informed him about the day off, and he said, ‘ok,’ and continued to get dressed,” Servais said with a laugh. “It’s was very Jean. But he knows a day down isn’t going to hurt him.”
Indeed, Segura’s reaction wasn’t one of indifference, but acceptance. He knows he could probably use a day off in hopes of resetting his slumping bat.
“I’m human,” he said. “Everybody knows when you are playing shortstop every day, it’s hard to feel healthy. It’s that time of the year. But I’m not one of those players that’s going to tell the manager, ‘hey, I need a day off.’ A manager doesn’t want his players missing days. There’s some guys that always have something wrong with them. But at this point in the year, the body is tired and not feeling 100 percent. But I still want to be in the lineup every day.”
Segura has been mired in a slump since about July 1, hitting .217 (25 for 115) with a .248 on-base percentage, a .296 slugging percentage, three doubles, two homers and six RBI in his last 29 games. Perhaps it was logical he’d cool off at some point. For the months of May and June, he was on torrid run, hitting .357 with an .878 on-base plus slugging percentage, 24 doubles, a triple, four homers and 24 RBI in 50 games.
“It’s not a secret,” he said. “I’ve been struggling for the last month. It’s going to happen in a season. I haven’t had struggles all season long. When the season started, I was dragging. I was at about .270 and .280, and then I started to get going.”
Segura has never been known to be a patient hitter, and it’s appeared that he’s tried to swing his way out of the slump, taking hacks at just about anything that looks hittable.
“He’s trying some different things,” Servais said. “It just hasn’t worked. He will be real aggressive in some at-bats and back off in other at-bats. He can really hit. We’ve seen it here for a long time. He’s just in one of those funks right now.”
Servais believes it’s timing issues rather swing related.
“His swing is so short there’s not a whole lot going on with it,” Servais said. “From a mechanical standpoint, there’s nothing that sticks out to me or Edgar (Martinez) either. It’s more about timing. Right now, we’ve seen a lot of balls in the air, a lot of pop ups and fly balls that are just off the end of the bat. That’s timing. That usually happens when your timing is a little late. When it’s late, it gets more challenging. When it’s early, you always have a chance.”
The lack of solid contact and balls off the barrel irk Segura. He prides himself on hitting the ball hard to all parts of the field. Instead, it’s been a series of pop ups and 10-hop ground balls. He has just a 13.7 percent line-drive percentage.
“I’m hitting the ball, but I’m not hitting the ball hard,” he said. “I’m not making solid contact. I just want make good contact. I don’t care if it’s an out. If it’s good contact, then I’ll be fine because they are going to start to fall. It’s that point in the year, you have to keep grinding.”
Segura doesn’t seem to have many prolonged slumps, so when he’s in one, how does he fight his way out of it?
“I go to video,” he said. “I talk with my guy that I hit with in the offseason about it.”
That coach is Luis Mercedes, who is credited with Segura’s lowered hands and revamped swing that led to a career rejuvenation.
“I sent him a couple of videos too,” Segura said. “He looked at it and told me what to do. We talk every day before and after the game. There’s a lot of information I share with him every day on the phone.”
Neither Servais nor Segura seemed panicked about the slump.
“I don’t read too much into it,” Servais said. “He’s a proven hitter in this league and he’ll be fine.”
“I will take my day and get fresh for tomorrow,” he said. “We have a month and a half left to play, that’s a lot of baseball still to play, And they still need, me, I need to get back to where I was before.”
The Mariners get the “honor” of having another Facebook game on Wednesday. It will be their fourth of the season. The game will only be televised on Facebook’s MLB Live section. There is no other way to watch the game. Fans can still listen to the radio broadcast on ESPN 710 or the Mariners’ radio network.