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Mariners’ Kyle Seager an eager utility man

SEATTLE – On an empty field Saturday afternoon, Kyle Seager was at shortstop fielding balls and getting pointers from Mariners bench coach Robby Thompson. Saturday night, Seager was back at third base making his 20th start at that position.

Seager has played only 25 games in his first major league season, but he already has become a master of versatility on the infield. Besides third, he also has started once at second base and, last week after Luis Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and injured, twice at shortstop.

They’re all positions Seager played in college and the minor leagues, and he welcomes the versatility even though it can be unsettling for a young player in the big leagues.

“I just like being on the field and playing,” he said. “The position doesn’t matter to me too much.”

Still, it can make a rookie’s head spin even at one position when he’s facing multiple situations at major league speed for the first time.  That’s why Seager’s afternoon sessions with Thompson, an All-Star second baseman when he played with the Giants, are so valuable.

“We’ve talked about all sorts of things – holding guys on at different positions, how to cover the bag at different positions, how you would play certain players at different positions,” Seager said. “Pretty much all aspects of the infield, he’s helped me out. With each position there’s its own uniqueness.

“I played short pretty much through high school and a little bit in college. In college I was predominately at second base, and my last year I played the whole time at third base.  I’ve gotten a lot of reps at all the positions.”

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