It looks like Chone Figgins is about to start spending a lot more time on the bench.
The Mariners announced after Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to the Mariners that they’re promoting 2009 third-round pick Kyle Seager to the majors. The University of North Carolina product had been on an absolute tear in his two weeks in Triple-A, hitting .455/.500/.673 in 55 at-bats.
Before that, Seager hit .312/.381/.459 in Double-A to begin the season. He came in at .345/.419/.503 last year, but that was at High Desert in the California League, one of the five best offensive environments in the minors. As a result, Seager wasn’t taken very seriously as a top prospect entering the season. He’s earned his chance by keeping it going at higher levels, though.
Seager was primarily a second baseman in the minors, and the Mariners left him there in Double-A this year even though they had their No. 1 propsect, Dustin Ackley, ready to take over at that position in the majors. Recently, Seager had been playing a lot more third base, and he figures to see most of his starts there in the majors. It’s possible he may yet end up at second base if the Mariners decide Ackley would be better off in the outfield.
Figgins becomes the odd man out. He’s hitting just .183/.231/.244 in the second year of a four-year, $36 million contract. The Mariners only hope of moving him is to take another bad contract in return, and those kinds of deals are usually easier to pull off over the winter than during the season.
Getting dropped to make room for Seager on the roster was catcher Jose Yepez.
On Friday, Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse altercation that started when Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia was wearing off-brand spikes during games. Valencia didn’t like Butler’s interference, potentially costing him an endorsement deal, so he punched Butler in the temple, causing a concussion.
Neither player had said much to the media about the incident, but Butler finally addressed the issue on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reported Butler’s comments:
“This was something that could’ve been prevented on both sides,” Butler said. “We had equal faults in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn’t have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn’t my business.”
“By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion,” Butler said. “This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team.”
“To say that we’re enemies is not right,” Butler said. “To blame this all on one side is not right either.”
Butler also apologized to his teammates. “I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this because they didn’t deserve this. This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn’t deserve this. The coaching staff didn’t deserve this. The organization didn’t deserve this,” he said.
Butler is making progress in his recovery from his concussion. He’ll travel with the team to St. Louis to open up a three-game series against the Cardinals starting on Friday. If he passes his concussion protocol test, the Athletics will put him back on the active roster from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery in early May. Weight has been the top subject of conversation regarding Sandoval ever since he showed up to spring training and an unflattering photograph was published by the Boston Globe.
Sandoval had a miserable spring training, batting .204 in 49 at-bats and lost out on the starting third base job to Travis Shaw. He went hitless in seven regular season plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder, which ultimately required reconstructive surgery.
Sandoval is still under contract through at least 2019, earning $17 million next season, and $18 million in ’18 and ’19. His controlling club has a $17 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2020 as well. It’s hard to see Sandoval fitting into his current club’s future plans, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to get rid of him without eating a significant portion of his remaining contract.