By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
CHICAGO — The All-Star selections became official Sunday but, as far as the Seattle Mariners are concerned … let’s just say they hope those selections remain incomplete.
Here’s what is known:
Robinson Cano won the fan vote and will be the American League’s starting second baseman for a fifth straight season. It’s is his sixth overall selection and, of course, his first as a Mariner.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez was selected for the fifth time in his career and stands a good chance of being the starting pitcher for the July 15 game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Here’s what is possible:
Closer Fernando Rodney and third baseman Kyle Seager loom as likely replacement candidates for injured/unavailable players as the AL roster shakes out over the next few days.
“Both of them (are deserving),” Cano said. “With Seager, you just look at the numbers he has. And Rodney, he’s leading the league in saves. Let’s see what happens. We’ve got, what, another week? A lot of things can happen.”
The teams for both leagues were announced Sunday night by ESPN. The final player for each 34-player roster will be determined in an online vote this week from a list of five candidates in each league.
Cano is the first Mariners player voted into the starting lineup since outfielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2010. Cano’s previous All-Star appearances came while playing for the New York Yankees.
“It’s special,” he said. “You can tell the fans who voted for me, that it’s something where I’m always going to be excited. It’s something that I’m always going to have in my heart.
“Now, I’m with another team, but they’ve been watching and appreciating what I’m doing here.”
Hernandez’s fifth selection matches Randy Johnson for the most in franchise history by a pitcher.
Should Hernandez be selected as the starting pitcher, he would join Johnson as the only Mariners’ pitchers to do so. Johnson started the 1995 and 1997 Games.
“That’s not my decision,” Hernandez said. “If they say yes, I will. It’s always exciting to be part of the All-Star Game. You’ll never forget about (those moments). It’s always fun.”
Rodney was an All-Star in 2012 with Tampa Bay. Seager has never been selected.
“It’s not something I can control,” Seager said. “The good thing is we’ve been playing really good baseball. So it’s something I don’t have to worry about. We’ve got a good thing going here. That takes up all of your thoughts.”