Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners hits a three-run home run in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field on June 24, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
SAFECO FIELD - Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager was named to the American League All-Star roster on Monday. He becomes the third member of the team to be selected along with Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano.
Seager replaces Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion on the All-Star roster. Encarnacion was placed on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.
"This is obviously a dream come true," Seager said. "Everybody grows up wanting to play in the big leagues and you want to be an All-Star. For that to happen is pretty special. It's something I'm very proud of and very honored."
Seager got off to a slow start in April, batting just .156 through his first 19 games of the season. However, Seager hit two home runs, including a walk-off homer, against the Houston Astros on April 23 and turned his season around.
Since that date, Seager is batting .304 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI in 66 games.
It's the first time Seattle has had three All-Stars since 2011 when Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Brandon League were all selected. It's the first time since 2006 the team has had two position players selected (Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Lopez).
No announcement on Thursday's starter yet:
With the decision by manager Lloyd McClendon to push back Felix Hernandez to Friday to start the series opener against the AL West leading Oakland A's, the Mariners are currently without a starter for Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins.
McClendon said the tentative plan is for Hernandez, Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma to start the three games against Oakland this weekend.
It could very likely mean a "bullpen game" for Seattle on Thursday. The Mariners currently have an eight-man bullpen with several arms capable of throwing multiple innings if necessary. Unless the Mariners get a rough three days of starts from their rotation that leaves the bullpen overworked, it could be the most logical plan for Seattle on Thursday.
DID YOU KNOW?…that Hisashi Iwakuma has yet to allow an earned run in his four career starts vs. the Twins?…Kuma is 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA vs. the Twins, allowing only 2 unearned runs in 26.2 innings vs. Minnesota (2 starts at Safeco Field, 2 starts at Target Field)…according to STATS INC, Iwakuma is the first pitcher to hold an American League team to 0 ER in the first 4 career starts vs. an opponent dating back to 1914…Doug Davis was the last MLB pitcher to accomplish this holding the Dodgers to 0 ER in 4 starts from 2004-2007.
ODDS AND ENDS…dropped 2 of last 3 games to have the 4-series win streak snapped…still won 5 of 7, 11 of 15 and 14 of last 10 games…21-12 since June 1…tied for the 4th-best winning percentage (.545) in the American League…won 7 of last 9 home games since June 15.
· The Standings – Mariners are 3rd in AL West, 7.0 back of Oakland and 3.5 back of 2nd-place LAA.
· Dominating – Felix Hernandez ranks 1st in the AL in ERA (2.11), 2nd in strikeouts (145), T3rd in wins (10), 1st in quality starts (17), 2nd in innings pitched (136.1) and 1st in WHIP (0.895).
· 10+ Hits – When recording 10+ hits the Mariners are 28-4 (.875), best W-L% in AL.
· Batting Race – Robinson Cano is 5th in the AL with a .320 batting avg (104x325).
· The Closer – Fernando Rodney is 1st in the AL with 25 saves (25-for-27 in save opps).
· Multi-Hit Special – Robinson Cano is T4th in the AL with 33 multi-hit games…6th with 104 hits.
· Flashing the Leather – Mariners lead the AL with a .987 fielding percentage (41 E, 3,261 TC).
· Maurer Power – Brandon Maurer has not allowed a run in 4 games in relief (7.0 IP, 3 H, 9 K, 2 BB).
HOME HITTER…Kyle Seager is batting .357 (51x143) with 20 runs scored, 20 extra-base hits (2B-8, 3B-1, HR-11) and 38 RBI in 41 games at Safeco Field this season…has a current 10-game home hitting streak (since June 14), batting .579 (22x38) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs and 16 RBI during this stretch.
BULLPEN ARMS…over the last 2 games, Mariners relief pitchers have held opposing batters to a .031 batting average, allowing only 1 hit in 32 at-bats over 10.0 IP (3 BB/1 IBB, HBP)…overall the Mariners bullpen leads the Majors with a 2.47 ERA and leads the AL with a .212 opponent avg.