By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
The Wins Above Replacement (WAR) ratings entering the weekend showed Seattle’s Felix Hernandez leading all American League pitchers with a 5.9 rating.
Second baseman Robinson Cano and third baseman Kyle Seager ranked third and fourth among AL non-pitchers at 5.0 and 5.1.
Los Angeles outfielder Mike Trout was the AL leader at 6.4, followed by Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson. Hernandez is third overall.
WAR is a metric that seeks to calculate the number of wins a player adds to his club above what might be expected from an average replacement (generally viewed as a good Triple-A player.)
The only other team with more than one player in the AL’s top 10 is Cleveland with pitcher Corey Kluber ranked sixth at 5.3, and outfielder Michael Brantley ranked 10th at 4.9.
Outfielder Michael Saunders resumed his rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Tacoma after missing a few days to attend the birth of his child.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Saunders will play ?two or three? more days for the Rainiers before being re-evaluated in his recovery from a strained left oblique.
Go east, young men
The current road trip to Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston marks the Mariners’ fifth excursion of the season into the Eastern time zone.
Tacoma right-hander Taijuan Walker cracked Baseball America’s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet at No. 4 after a striking out 13 in seven innings last Sunday against Fresno.
Walker, 21, allowed one run and two hits while rebounding from a dreadful effort in his previous start: eight runs in 2? innings at Albuquerque.
The Hot Sheet seeks to identify which of the game’s top prospects are currently performing at high levels. Walker is generally viewed as the Mariners’ No. 1 prospect.
It was 21 years ago Saturday ? Aug. 16, 1993 ? that Randy Johnson earned his first career save by striking out four in 1? innings and preserving an 8-6 victory over Baltimore at the Kingdome.
Johnson had only one other save in a 22-year career that spanned 618 appearances for six different clubs. That came for the Mariners in his injury-shortened 1996 season when he pitched four innings against Kansas City.