Kyle Seager, the Seattle Seahawks iron man third baseman will have surgery to repair a tendon in his left hand and will miss the first month of the season and possibly more.
The 31-year old Seager suffered the injury on Friday night while diving to make a play in the Mariners spring training game against the Cubs. The injury comes at a particularly bad time for Seager who was off to a great start this spring, batting .318 (7 for 22) after a 2018 that was, statistically, the worst of his career. His slash line was .221/.273/.400 with 22 homers and 78 RBIs in 155 games.
Since becoming the Mariners starting third baseman in 2012 has never missed more than eight games in a season. He has played in 1,079 out of a possible 1,134 games. That means Seager has played almost a full season’s worth of games over Evan Longoria. Longoria, now with the San Francisco Giants has played 917 games at third base in that span.
“This will be the first time for me having to go on the DL and that’s something I was proud of,” Seager said. “It sucks. Anytime you don’t get to go out there with your teammates and your guys, it’s hard.”
Neither Seager nor the Mariners manager Scott Servais would put a timeline on Seager’s recovery. However, Servais confirmed that Seager will miss the first month of the season for sure. “I think a lot of it will depend on the rehab part of it, how quickly I can get through that type of stuff,” Seager said. “[The doctor] really didn’t give too definitive a timeline, but I think it’s going to be a little while. I won’t be in Japan, let’s put it that way.”
In Seager’s absence, the Mariners will look to Ryon Healy as the primary replacement. Healy was a third baseman in the Minor Leagues, and played 103 games at the hot corner for the Oakland A’s in 2016-17. After being acquired by the Mariners last year, Healy transitioned to first base.
Healy, who will line up at essentially the second-base spot against some lefties, has said the transition is going mostly smoothly despite the fact that he had to borrow Seager’s third baseman’s glove. “The first couple days have been fine,” Healy said. “It’s just getting my arm slot and throwing across the diamond again. But having [new infield coach] Perry Hill here is a big help, so I’ll take advantage of that as much as I can.”
Still, Healy, along with the rest of the Mariners knows that Seager leaves big shoes to fill.“Obviously that’s a big leader on the team that we’re losing, but the season doesn’t stop,” Healy said. “We’ve got to keep going and we’ve got to compete.”