Seager isn't in Friday's starting nine against the Rangers, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. With the Mariners out of postseason contention, Seager will get the day off. Kris Negron draws the start at the hot corner and is slated to bat ninth.
Seager, whose current .220 average and .273 slugging percentage are both career lows, has been significantly affected by infield shifts this season, David Gottlieb of MLB.com reports. The veteran third baseman has been a model of consistency throughout his career, and his home run (22) and RBI (77) totals this season are both within his normal standards. However, he's made a lot more outs than he accustomed to, as partly evidenced by career-worst strikeout (21.8 percent) and walk (6.0) rates. In the opinion of manager Scott Servais, Seager was undoubtedly affected by a June toe fracture, but the uptick in infield shifts has also left him at a significant disadvantage, given his heavy pull tendencies as a hitter. Seager had seen a shift in a team-high 70.4 percent of his plate appearances and a 40-point decrease in his batting average against such an alignment heading into Thursday's game against the Rangers, underscoring the need for him address the glaring weakness this offseason.
Seager entered an extra-innings win over the Athletics on Tuesday as a pinch hitter and laced a game-tying RBI single in his one at-bat. It was a night of pinch-hit success for the Mariners as a whole, with Seager making a key contribution by singling on a 2-1 pitch with two outs in the ninth to bring home Ben Gamel with the tying run. The veteran third baseman has had a disappointing season in terms of his slash line (.221/.273/.401), but he's shown some signs of life recently by reaching safely in 12 of his last 14 games.
Seager is not in the lineup Tuesday against the A's. Seager will head to the bench as manager Scott Servais stacks right-handed hitters against southpaw Brett Anderson. In his place, Kris Negron will start at the hot corner and hit sixth.
Seager went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run in a win over the Astros on Monday. Seager is in the midst of one of his more consistent offensive stretches of the season, as he's now hit safely in seven consecutive games. The third baseman has four extra-base hits (three doubles, one home run) during that span and has boosted his September average to .250, an unspectacular number that nevertheless represents a significant improvement over the .183 figure he generated in August.