By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Kyle Seager was leaving Babies R Us on Monday with his son, Crue, in one arm and a large package of diapers in the other, when his manager called.
Down went the diapers.
Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon wanted to be the first to inform Seager he would be participating in his first All-Star game July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Toronto third baseman Edwin Encarnacion landed on the 15-day disabled list because of quad strain over the weekend, opening a spot for Seager.
“I was pretty excited,” Seager said of receiving the call. “It’s a dream come true. Everybody grows up … you want to play in the big leagues, you want to be an All-Star. For that to happen is pretty special.”
Boston manager John Farrell selected Seager as the replacement, giving the Mariners three All-Stars. Seager joins second baseman Robinson Cano and starting pitcher Felix Hernandez as Seattle All-Stars.
Seager’s All-Star nod comes from another sturdy season at the plate and in the field. After a woeful April when he hit .225, Seager has been able to raise his average to .274 going into Monday’s game. He has 13 home runs and 59 RBI, putting him on pace for career-highs in each category.
The last time the Mariners had three All-Stars in one season was 2011, when Hernandez was joined by rookie right-hander Michael Pineda and closer Brandon League. Neither Pineda or League are still with the organization.
The last time Seattle had two All-Star position players in the same season was 2006 when Jose Lopez and Ichiro Suzuki received the honor.
Seager is just the third Mariners’ third baseman to be named an All-Star. Edgar Martinez was an All-Star in 1992 at the position, and Jim Presley made the team in 1986.
This is the fifth time Hernandez has been named to the team. It’s the sixth time for Cano, which leaves Seager a couple veterans to tag along with.
“I can basically be there like I am here: just kind of follow Cano around,” Seager said. “So, it will work out well.”