Hitting coach Tim Laker feels Seager was able to successfully carry over the hitting adjustments he made during the second half of the 2019 season into spring training, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Seager's final .239/.321/.468 line for 2019 still had plenty of room for improvement, but it was markedly better than what the veteran third baseman was on pace for during a forgettable first half (.203/.288/.371). Seager slashed a solid .260/.339/.524 over the post-All-Star-break portion of the campaign, a stretch during which he also slugged 17 of his 23 home runs and drove in 45 of his 63 runs. Laker notes the 32-year-old focused on making sure the plate adjustments that led to his improvement carried over into spring training, and the .316 average (6-for-19) he generated over eight Cactus League contests seems to indicate that goal was largely accomplished.
Seager, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run in a Cactus League loss to the Rockies on Monday, is hitting .455 (5-for-11) with Monday's pair of two-baggers, three RBI, one walk and Monday's run over his first five spring games. The elder statesman of the rebuilding Mariners is offering tangible evidence he still has plenty left in the tank early in spring, a welcome sight after he put together below-average numbers, by his standards, in batting average and on-base percentage for the second straight season. Seager saw a hand injury delay his start to the campaign until late May and then generated a .239/.321/.468 line across 443 plate appearances. The 32-year-old is expected to open the 2020 campaign as the starting third baseman, but there's certainly a chance he's moved to a contending team at some point this season.
Seager went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in Sunday's 3-1 win over Oakland. Seager took Oakland starter Tanner Roark deep with a two-run blast in the first inning of Sunday's low-scoring tilt. With his 23rd long ball, he surpassed last season's total of 22 despite playing in nearly 50 fewer games in 2019.
Seager, who went 2-for-3 with a run in a loss to the Athletics on Thursday, is hitting just .207 (17-for-82) across 22 games in September. Seager does have a solid 10 RBI during the month thanks to some timely hitting, but his overall performance at the plate is a far cry from the .323 average he generated in an August in which he seemed to turn his season around. However, despite the late downturn, Seager is actually way ahead of where he was last year -- his .241/.325/.470 line is a marked improvement over his .221/.273/.400 slash from 2018, and he'd already matched the 22 homers he hit last season by Sept. 10 and did so in 67 fewer games.
Seager is not in Thursday's lineup against the Pirates. He is hitting .214 with four home runs in 15 games this month. Austin Nola is starting at third base and hitting fourth.