Seattle Mariners: Kyle Seager’s accelerated free fall in 2018

Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Seattle Mariners
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

Hard to diagnose

No one is sure what happened with Seager this season. He’s traditionally a slow starter but starts hitting and producing in June, which didn’t happen this year. The former North Carolina Tar Heel struggled all season long. Seager still is hitting home runs, as he extended his streak of 20 or more dingers to seven straight seasons.

Don’t get too excited about it. Not only were this season’s 22 dingers his lowest season total since 2013, but he also seemed to falter in the clutch. Adding to his misery, Seager’s 38 walks and .277 on-base percentage were the lowest of his career, his 138 strikeouts were the highest.

For most of 2018, he looked lost at the plate with almost no idea where his strike zone was. Those who watched the M’s close this year remember at-bats when Seager swung at a bad pitch or tried to knock the cover off the ball with a swing nowhere near it, only to take a called strike three on a fastball down the middle.

When you look at his defensive stats at third base they are very similar to last year. Seager had 14 errors in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons and his fielding percentage was .969, and .968, respectively. There were times though he looked distracted in the field well as the plate. Especially right after he returned from paternity leave.

I’m not sure whether or not fatherhood was a big part of his struggles since it was reported his baby daughter born healthy. Any parent will tell you it’s a draining experience, even if it’s the third time around like in the Seager household. It would have been nice if he could have had additional days off during the season to rest. but the Mariners didn’t have anyone who could play at the same level or better.