Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano will represent the Mariners in the 85th Major League All-Star Game July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, but third baseman Kyle Seager and closer Fernando Rodney, both of whom had strong cases to make the squad, suffered snubs. Had either made the team, the Mariners would have had three All-Stars for the first time since 2011.
Cano will start for the AL at second base while Hernandez has a chance, since he pitches Friday against Oakland, to make the first All-Star starting assignment of his career. His main rival for the start is Masahiro Yanaka of the Yankees, who is 12-3 with a 2.27 ERA.
Hernandez, 10-2, 2.11, will make his fifth All-Star appearance, tying Randy Johnson (1989-98) for most in franchise history by a starting pitcher. Hernandez previously made American League All-Star teams in 2009 and from 2011-13. He did not make the All-Star team in 2010, the year he won his only AL Cy Young award.
Hernandez is in the midst of one of the greatest runs of his career. Although he received a no-decision in his latest start Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, he has made 10 consecutive starts with at least seven innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed.
That’s longest such streak within one season since 1986, when Houston’s Mike Scott made 12 consecutive starts of seven-plus innings while allowing two or fewer runs. The last AL pitcher with a streak of 10 or more starts was Gaylord Perry for the Cleveland Indians in 1974.
Hernandez, who has won seven of his past 11 starts, leads the AL in innings (136.1), ERA (2.11), quality starts (17) and WHIP (0.895), is second in strikeouts (145) and T3 in wins (10). He has four double-digit strikeout games, topped by 15 at Tampa Bay June 8.
Although Cano went 0-for-3 Sunday in an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Mariners castoff Hector Noesi of the White Sox, he’s hitting .320, fourth in the AL. He also ranks fourth in on-base percentage (.383), sixth in hits (104), and sixth in times on base (137). Also tied for third in the league with 33 multi-hit games, Cano will be making his sixth All-Star appearance — fifth as a starter — and first for the Mariners after representing the New York Yankees five times.
Cano will be the first second baseman to represent Seattle in an All-Star game since Jose Lopez in 2006 and the fifth in franchise history (also Bret Boone, 2001, ’03; Joey Cora, 1997, and Harold Reynolds, 1987-88).
Batting .274, Seager was a long shot to make the All-Star team as a reserve even though he has 13 home runs, 59 RBIs and was the American League Player of the Week last week. Seager trails only Oakland’s Josh Donaldson in AL home runs, RBIs and WAR among third basemen. But he didn’t even make a list of five players who will vie for the 34th All-Star roster spot in an online fan vote.
Had Seager been selected by the players, he would have been the first Mariners third baseman in the All-Star game since Edgar Martinez in 1992.
Rodney, seeking his second All-Star berth (also 2012 with Tampa Bay), is 1-3, 2.10 with a league best 25 saves in 27 chances. Rodney reached 25 saves in 87 games, third quickest in Mariners history, following Kazuhiro Sasaki (62 games in 2001) and J.J. Putz (86 games in 2007). Brandon League in 2011 is the last Seattle closer to appear in an All-Star game.
While Seattle had two players selected, division-leading Oakland will be represented by five. The Mariners have not had three All-Stars since 2011 (Hernandez, League, Michael Pineda) or two position players in the game since 2006 (Ichiro, Lopez).
Two former Mariners made the AL All-Star team. Baltimore’s Adam Jones, selected to start in right field, will represent the league for the fourth time since the Mariners traded him in a package to the Orioles Feb. 8, 2008 for Erik Bedard. Adrian Beltre of Texas is also an All-Star for the fourth time since he left the Mariners in free agency in 2009.