SEATTLE (AP) - With diapers in one arm and his young son in the other, Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager got the phone call Monday he was hoping to get a day earlier.
Seager was selected to replace injured Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion on the American League’s roster for next week’s All-Star game.
Encarnacion, who has 26 home runs and 70 RBIs, was put on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a strained right quadriceps. Encarnacion was injured in Saturday’s game against Oakland.
Seager said he was just walking out of Babies”R”Us with his wife and son when he noticed manager Lloyd McClendon calling.
“I put the diapers down and answered the phone,” Seager said. “It worked out pretty good.”
Seager becomes the third Seattle player selected for the July 15 game at Target Field in Minneapolis. The 26-year-old Seager, a first-time All-Star, entered Monday with a .274 average, 13 homers, 59 RBIs and 21 doubles. But those numbers came after a miserable first three weeks of the season that had Seager sitting at .156 with no homers and four RBIs through the first 19 games.
In the 66 games since, Seager is hitting .304 with 57 RBIs and a .914 on base plus slugging.
“The validation is just playing better and helping the team win. This stuff right here this is just … it’s hard to describe,” Seager said. “It’s just something that’s pretty cool and I’m really, really happy about, obviously.”
McClendon wasn’t worried about Seager’s early struggles, knowing eventually the production would arrive.
“The book says he’s a good player and having talked with him and learning his personality, I knew that he was going to be OK, so I wasn’t really worried about him,” McClendon said.
Seager will join teammates Felix Hernandez and second baseman Robinson Cano playing for the American League. It’s the second time since 2004 Seattle has seen more than two players get selected for the All-Star game. Seager’s brother, Corey, was also selected for Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, a showcase for minor league talent.
“I’ve played with Felix a couple of years now and gotten to know Cano pretty good here. To go with a couple of guys that you know will be good,” Seager said.