PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran reliever Kameron Loe made an impression on third baseman Kyle Seager this week in Mariners camp … literally.
Running a bunt drill on Sunday, the 6-foot-8, 245-pound Loe charged off the mound and knocked Seager flat on his back after the two collided as they reached for the ball. A surprised Seager emerged unscathed, but with a healthy appreciation for the size of his new teammate.
"If you think he's big when you're standing next to him, imagine lying on your back looking up at him," Seager said with a laugh prior to Monday's workout. "Thankfully, I'd said hello to him before that. That wouldn't have been the best way to meet … looking up and saying, 'Please don't step on me.'"
Seager said the play actually was a good reminder of the importance of getting familiar with different pitchers and their athletic ability and agility. People talk frequently of the working relationship between pitchers and catchers, but to a smaller degree there is a need for position players to communicate and get to know each other as well.
Which is exactly why teams spend time in Spring Training doing bunt drills and situational work on every kind of play imaginable.
"Those things are definitely important because all the pitchers are different," Seager said. "Some really attack bunts full tilt, some are a little more hesitant and want the infielders to take them. You can kind of gauge the athleticism just doing those drills and seeing how they move. So it's important to build those relationships."
As for Loe? He's an eight-year Major League veteran who spent the last three seasons in the Brewers' bullpen, logging a 3.67 ERA in 195 appearances.
Had Seager even met him before they ran into each other on the field?
"Just very briefly. I'd said hello to him, then I got to know him a little better yesterday," Seager said with a smile. "He's a real nice guy. It was just a little bunt play. I called it late and should have called it a lot earlier. And that's why."