ARLINGTON -- Kyle Seager has received plenty of notice for his timely hitting this year, with his team-leading 81 RBIs and 18 home runs entering Friday. But the Mariners' young third baseman has drawn increasingly rave reviews of late with his glove as well.
Seager made an outstanding play in Thursday's 8-3 loss at Toronto when he fielded a bunt by the Blue Jays' Jeff Mathis, faked the throw to first and then wheeled and caught Rajai Davis at third after the speedy outfielder had rounded the base too far. Shortstop Brendan Ryan came in behind him to make the catch and tag.
"I'm not sure if I've ever done it exactly like that," Seager said. "But it's a situation where he bunted and I wasn't expecting it. I was back and thought the only chance we'd have to get an out was if Felix [Hernandez] fielded it and threw to me at third.
"But when it got by him, I figured with the way Davis can run he might take a shot at just going straight around. It was fortunate Brendan got there. That was a real big part of the play. He did a real good job of getting to the bag and making it a nice easy throw for me."
Moments earlier, Seager had already nearly caught Davis after he let a bunt by Davis roll slowly down the line, then picked it up and caught him in a rundown between first and second after he'd aggressively rounded the first-base bag.
That is pretty impressive baseball instincts for a youngster who had primarily been a second baseman before last year. Manager Eric Wedge said Seager's play at third is "night and day" from a year ago.
"He worked as hard as anybody this spring to just get more comfortable over there, working with [bench coach] Robby Thompson and just doing all the things you need to do to make every type of play over there," said Wedge. "There's a lot more going on there than people maybe think about. But yeah, the baseball instincts, that's him. That's real. His feel and court awareness, if you will, has been pretty good over there."
For Seager, it's just been a matter of time spent at the hot corner.
"Last year when I moved over there, I'd played some there in college, but not in the Minor Leagues," he said. "I'm still learning a lot, and Robby has helped me. I think last year I would have said I'm comfortable at third, but more comfortable at second. Now, I'm pretty evenly comfortable at either one."