Kyle Seager's performance against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night (May 2) should leave no doubt that he is the future for the Seattle Mariners at third base. After connecting for two home runs and driving in four runs, it is time for the franchise to commit the position to him permanently.
Seager is now hitting .300 this season (24-for-80) and has the second highest batting average on the team. He also has 10 extra-base hits for the Mariners in just 21 games and has knocked in 11 runs during that time. Toss in the 2 stolen bases that Seager has, and it becomes very clear that it's time to stop platooning at third base.
It's true that Seager does have 2 errors at third base this year, but this is also a player that was tabbed to play second base for the Mariners before Dustin Ackley got moved there. He is still learning how to play the position at this level and continues to improve on a game-by-game basis. Now manager Eric Wedge needs to anchor him at third base in order to get him the reps necessary to become really good at the position.
I am not discounting what Alex Liddi might have when it comes to talent, but some tough decisions are coming for the team. It has to begin with Chone Figgins heading to the bench permanently when Mike Carp is ready to take over in left field again. In all honesty, Figgins needs to get placed on waivers, admittedly with his game-ending strikeout on Wednesday (May 2) fresh in my mind. Then the franchise has to decide what to do with Justin Smoak, because he simply isn't getting it done at first base.
I think that Liddi could actually become a solid option at first base, especially if it means a place in the lineup more often in order to see whether he has corrected his strikeout problems from 2011. I like what I am seeing from him this year, but it's such a small sample size in just 13 games that I am not willing to fully commit to him yet. It's clearer than ever that Figgins has got to go though, because the team has given him every chance to pull out of this slump and the time has come to cut ties.
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*Ryan is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan who never misses an opportunity to attend a game at Safeco Field. He has been attending games since 1985, and has fond memories of The Kingdome, Edgar Martinez, and the historic 1995 team. Sodo Mojo!
- Sports & Recreation
- Seattle Mariners
- Kyle Seager
- Chone Figgins
- Tampa Bay Rays