By Ryan Divish
The Seattle Times
SEATTLE — The excitement over who was selected was tempered by the disappointment for who was snubbed.
On Sunday, the complete rosters for the 89th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, scheduled for July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington D.C., were announced. The Mariners had three players — closer Edwin Diaz, outfielder Mitch Haniger and designated hitter Nelson Cruz — chosen as reserves for the American League squad.
It marked the first time since 2014 that the Mariners had multiple players selected.
Yet the Mariners said they felt they deserved at least two more selections: shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher James Paxton.
“Certainly we are well represented,” manager Scott Servais said. “Quite frankly, I’m just shocked that Jean Segura wasn’t on it. And James Paxton. I go back to (Paxton’s) no-hitter and what he did for our team and just energizing our team. He’s really carried our starting rotation. Pax and Jean, not getting in, it’s tough. There’s a lot of good players in the league, and I explained it to those guys. They get it.”
Haniger said the absence of Segura and Paxton from the AL roster was “a tough one for me to swallow.”
“Obviously I was really excited,” he said, “but I was the last name that Scott called, and I immediately thought of Segura and Paxton. I wish there was more selections. They deserve it just as much as anybody.”
There’s a chance that one or both players could wind up in D.C. Paxton could join the pitching staff if a pitcher isn’t available to throw.
Segura, meanwhile, is one of five candidates for the 32nd and final roster spot on the AL team. He joins outfielder Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox, shortstop Andrelton Simmons of the Angels, outfielder Eddie Rosario of the Twins and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees on the ballot.
Voting is available online at Mariners.com/vote and MLB.com/vote. Fans can cast their votes up until 1 p.m. Wednesday.
“I’m disappointed,” Paxton said. “But I understand that there’s a lot of deserving players.”
Segura, who is hitting .330 with an .827 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, seven homers and 47 RBI and ranked second in the majors with 115 hits, wasn’t quite as diplomatic.
“I mean, it’s ridiculous when you see my numbers,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t make that decision. I’m disappointed. For me, I’m just going to continue to do my job and play for Seattle and push this beautiful team, this beautiful city into the playoffs.”
Said Servais: “Certainly, shortstop is a position that has guys having great years. But it’s really hard to hit .330 in this league. It’s hard to hit .330 for two weeks, let alone half a season.”
The AL’s two all-star shortstops are Manny Machado of Baltimore, who was voted the starter, and Francisco Lindor of Cleveland.
Despite being on the AL’s Final Vote ballot, Segura wasn’t planning to do any campaigning.
“I’m going to spend the time with my family and kids and get ready for the second half of the season …,” he said. “But I’m not going to campaign and use my time to go out for photos or whatever they want me to do. If I make it, yes, I’ll go. If not, I’m the same guy.”
While Segura didn’t plan on campaigning, others did.
“We’re all ready to start doing it for him,” Cruz said.
Servais began lobbying after Sunday’s 6-4 win over Colorado.
“I certainly hope our fans step up,” Servais said. “People around the Pacific Northwest put your votes in because Jean really deserves to go.”