By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
CHICAGO — Will the Seattle Mariners get more than two All-Stars — two seems a certainty, doesn’t it?— when the selections are announced at 4 p.m. PDT today on ESPN?
Second baseman Robinson Cano held a commanding lead last week in the final balloting update to determine the starters for the July 15 game at Minnesota. Cano is seeking his fifth straight starting assignment.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez also seems a shoo-in to be selected for the fifth time in his career. Hernandez figures to receive strong consideration to start the game for the American League.
But what about closer Fernando Rodney and third baseman Kyle Seager?
Rodney is far from definite even though he leads the American League with 25 saves and has a 2.10 ERA in 36 appearances. Only one other AL reliever has more than 20 saves.
“It would be pretty tough to leave him off,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “But you never know.”
Even McClendon is pessimistic regarding Seager’s chances.
“Seager is well deserving,” McClendon said. “Is there a chance he’ll be left off? Of course there is. That’s just the way it is. There are a lot of good players who get left off that roster.”
Seager entered Saturday ranked second among all AL third basemen in WAR (wins above replacement) and in OPS+ (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage adjusted for ballpark factors).
Oakland’s Josh Donaldson led all AL third baseman, and ranked second overall, in WAR. Seager ranked sixth in the league. Seager ranked 11th overall in OPS+. (Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre ranked ninth.)
Will that be good enough? The answer comes this afternoon.