SEATTLE — Kyle Seager was back at third base on Saturday before the game, taking ground balls during batting practice.
While Seager is always intense the moment he steps on the field, there was definitely an edge to him as he handled one grounder after another.
Seager committed two costly errors in Friday night’s loss and has been in a bit of a fielding funk.
Both were ground balls with a lot of top spin off the bats of right-handed hitters.
“I think he’s getting caught in between a little bit,” acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson said. “And any time you are in between on those top-spin balls, you are basically creating more speed and more spin. He’s either got to come get those or step to the side and really get your nose and eyes on it as it is coming at you.”
Seager committed 13 errors in 138 games at third base last season, but has already committed 11 in 113 games at the position this season.
It’s not a matter of effort for Seager.
“Kyle has a great pregame routine,” Thompson said. “He works hard, day in and day out. He’s just running through that stretch where he’s got to remain focused and confident and remember how good he is and how well he’s done there. But we are all human.”
Franklin Gutierrez is in Albuquerque with the Tacoma Rainiers as he starts his fourth rehab stint of the season.
Because he had a late flight, Gutierrez wasn’t in the lineup on Saturday night.
Gutierrez just wrapped up his allotted 20-day rehab assignment with the Rainiers on Monday. Per major league rules, he had to wait five days before he could start another one.
“Each time, he’s slowly gotten a little bit better,” Thompson said. “But he’s not really back to where he feels he can come out and be part of it every day. Whether he plays every day or not, he needs to be counted on in the dugout when he’s starting. If he’s not starting, it doesn’t mean he’s not available. He’s going to have to be available every day. We’ve talked to him about that. That’s where he’s trying to get to.”
Guttierez has played 37 games with Tacoma and just 18 with the Mariners.
He’s making $7 million this season – that’s $388,888 per big league appearance thus far. Gutierrez has a club option of $7.5 million next season. But it’s a pretty safe bet the Mariners won’t be picking that up for 2014.
The Mariners wrap up the three-game series with the Brewers with a 1:10 p.m. game Sunday. Right-hander Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.39 ERA) is scheduled to start for Seattle. Milwaukee is scheduled to start right-hander Wily Peralta (8-11, 4.42). The game will be televised on Root Sports.Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @RyanDivish