Baseball / Sports

Mariners' Kyle Seager relishes All-Star nod

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager had a baby in one arm, diapers in the other when he learned he had accomplished a childhood dream via a call from manager Lloyd McClendon.

As Seager explained it, his phone rang as he was leaving Babies R Us doing some shopping for newborn son Crue.

"I put the diapers down and answered the phone," he said. "It was pretty cool."

The call came after Seager was named to the American League All-Star team to take the place of Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion, who was placed on the disabled list Monday with a right quadriceps strain.

It's the first time Seager, a 26-year-old, four-year veteran, has been named to the team.

"This is obviously a dream come true," Seager said. "Everybody grows up, you want to play in the big leagues, you want to be an All-Star. For that to happen, it's pretty special."

Seager's addition means there will be at least three Mariners in the All-Star Game -- second baseman Robinson Cano was voted in as a starter and pitcher Felix Hernandez was named to the team on Sunday. The Mariners are also still hoping that closer Fernando Rodney will be named to the team if there are changes to the initial pitching roster.

The Mariners have sent more than two players to the All-Star Game only once since 2003. That came in 2011 when Hernandez and fellow pitchers Michael Pineda and Brandon League were selected.

"It's good for this organization," McClendon said. "I think it speaks volumes about how far we have come and where we are going. It's nice to see. It means we performed well in the first half."

It's also the first time the Mariners have had two position players named since 2006, when second baseman Jose Lopez and Ichiro were each selected.

Seager becomes the first homegrown position player to make it since Lopez, and the first player of any sort drafted by the team since Jack Zduriencik became general manager in 2009.

For Seager, it puts a happy cap on a first half that began dreadfully -- he was hitting .156 through the first 20 games. But since April 23 he has hit .304 with all 13 of his home runs and 57 of his 59 RBI.

It also means there will be two Seagers in Minnesota for All-Star Weekend. His younger brother, Corey, who is in the Dodgers organization, will play in the Futures Game on Sunday.

Kyle Seager won't arrive in time to see that game, but said the obvious of being there with his brother.

"That is really cool," Seager said.

(c)2014 The Seattle Times

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