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Seager shifts down to bat third as Wedge adjusts order

Seager shifts down to bat third as Wedge adjusts order

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge had Kyle Seager third in the batting order for Sunday's series finale against the A's and indicated the young third baseman could see more of that going forward as he looks to find the right lineup mix.

Seager has been hitting second most of the season, but Wedge hopes the move helps alleviate some of the pressure felt by designated hitter Kendrys Morales and right fielder Michael Morse, who he dropped down to the four and five spots, respectively, for the first time. Jason Bay batted second on Sunday for the Mariners.

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"I'm playing around with it a little bit," Wedge said. "I still stand by the fact that Morales and Morse are just trying to do too much. They know they're the guys here and I think with that sometimes you put a little too much pressure on yourself to do too much. You see both of them chasing more than they should.

"And Kyle is a very mature young hitter. We've seen that. The reality is he's probably more than [just a two-hole hitter]. And I trust him. There's not too much we can give him that he can't handle and he's already proven that."

Seager hit third in 69 games last season when he led the team in home runs and RBIs, but the feeling this year was that the new offensive additions would allow him to move into a new role. As it's played out, however, Wedge sees Seager's versatility and ability to handle that kind of role as being helpful now in sorting things out for the new power hitters as they find their own comfort levels.

"I look at him as either a two- or three-hole hitter," Wedge said. "It just takes some time to figure out what everyone ultimately is going to be. With Morales and Morse, they're they keys. Once we figure out where they belong, we can work everybody else off that.

"When you bring somebody over here and they're the guy, it's a little different for them. Kendrys is so good, the on-base percentage, he's going to hit. He's going to be fine in the end. But ultimately we need to be able to count on him every day. So it's a matter of who works off who better. Morse-Morales? Morales-Morse? How does Seager play into that? How does [Justin] Smoak play into that? We have to figure all that out."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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