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July 7, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Pre-game notes: Seager excited for All-Star bid

As you might expect, Kyle Seager was pretty darn excited to be named to the AL All-Star Team.

“This is obviously a dream come true,’’ Seager said. “Everybody grows up, you want to play in the big leagues, you want to be an All-Star. For that to happen, it’s pretty special.’’

And as Seager explained it, he was running some errands with his wife and young son when the call came, shopping for some necessities at a Babies R Us. He said he had his son in one arm and his diapers in the other when the phone rang with manager Lloyd McClendon delivering the news.

“I put the diapers down and answered the phone,’’ he said. “It was pretty cool.’’

The call came after Seager was named to the team to take the place of Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion, who was placed on the disabled list Monday with a right quadriceps strain.

It’s the first time the 26-year-old four-year veteran has been named to the team.

Seager’s addition means there will be at least three Mariners in the All-Star Game — second baseman Robinson Cano was voted in as a starter and pitcher Felix Hernandez was named to the team on Sunday. The team is also still holding out hope that closer Fernando Rodney could be named to the team if there are any changes to the initial pitching roster.

Still, the trio going makes this something of a breakthrough for the Mariners, who have sent more than two players to the All-Star game only once since 2003. That came in 2011 when Hernandez and fellow pitchers Michael Pineda and Brandon League were all selected.

“It’s good for this organization,’’ McClendon said. “I think it speaks volumes about how far we have come and where we are going. It’s nice to see. It means we performed well in the first half.’’

It’s also the first time the Mariners have had two position players named since 2006, when second baseman Jose Lopez and Ichiro were each selected.

Seager also becomes the first homegrown position player to make it since Lopez, and the first player of any sort drafted by the team since Jack Zduriencik became general manager in 2009.

For Seager, it puts a happy cap on a first half that began dreadfully — he was hitting .156 through the first 20 games. But since game 21 on April 23 he has hit .304 with all 13 of his homeruns and 57 of his 59 runs batted in.

“Some guys are slow starters and some guys are fast starters,’’ McClendon said. “He just needed at-bats to get himself going. He just kept grinding it out.’’

It also means there will be two Seagers in Minnesota for All-Star Weekend. His younger brother, Corey, who is in the Dodgers organization, will play in the Futures Game Sunday.

Kyle Seager won’t arrive in time to see that game, but said the obvious of being there with his brother.

“That is really cool,” Seager said.

— McClendon said he has still not decided on a starting pitcher for Thursday’s game against the Twins, which concludes the four-game series.

— McClendon said again that Felix Hernandez will start Friday against the A’s and that Taijuan Walker will likely go Saturday and Hisashi Iwakuma Sunday, though that isn’t set in stone.




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