5 Seattle Mariners Who Deserve to Play in 2013 MLB All-Star Game
Seattle Mariners: 5 Players That Deserve to Play in 2013 All-Star Game
Through the first half of the Seattle Mariners' 2013 season, we've seen what a lot of what fans have become accustomed to seeing over the last five years: strong starting pitching from the front end of the rotation, a shaky bullpen, a lineup that ranks near the bottom of the league in almost every category and ultimately, a record well below .500.
The fact that the offense hasn't been historically bad like it has in past years gives the team some hope that they are making a turn for the better. The M's actually rank eighth in baseball in home runs which can be attributed to the fences being moved in during the offseason in addition to the big bats they brought in.
It's highly unlikely that the Mariners will get a position player in to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game this year at Citi Field in New York. They don't have a hitter with any eye-popping numbers, which is what it takes when you play baseball in Seattle and the voting system for position players is nothing more than a popularity contest. That being said, there are a few players who have put up some solid numbers over the first half of the year. It's possible that a sudden hot streak or an injury to another All-Star candidate could put one or more Mariner hitters right into serious consideration. While Mariner pitching has been well represented at the All-Star Game over the past five years, M's fans would love to see a hitter get a rare AB in the game. Seattle hasn't sent a position player not named Ichiro to the All-Star game since 2006.
Here are 5 Seattle Mariners deserving of a trip to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game.
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3B Kyle Seager
If the Mariners played in the National League, Kyle Seager would have a great shot at making his first All-Star game appearance. His numbers are right up there with the top third basemen in the NL. Unfortunately, they don't. And with names like Cabrera, Longoria, Beltre and Machado at the same position in the AL, Seager's chances are slim to none. But that isn't to say that the baseball world hasn't taken notice to what the UNC product is doing this year. At 25 years of age, he has a bright future in the bigs and you can expect to see him in the Summer Classic in the future.
DH Kendrys Morales
The Mariners went out and traded for Kendrys Morales during the offseason, giving up their number two starting pitcher in 2012, Jason Vargas. The need for a big bat in the middle of the Mariners lineup was one of the biggest priorities the club had to address, and Morales hasn't disappointed. He leads the team in RBI (48), batting average (.282), and is second on the team in home runs. David Ortiz will likely be the starting DH for the American League, but he has to be the next worthy player at the DH position so Jim Leyland could take Morales as a reserve.
OF Raul Ibanez
The return of Raul Ibanez to Seattle has been one of the best stories for the club this year. The 41-year-old was brought in during the offseason for spot starts in the outfield, but he has become the M's top source of power and has forced manager Eric Wedge to play him nearly every game. Ibanez has launched 20 long balls this year, tied for sixth in the majors. What's more impressive is that he has significantly less at-bats than the other top home run hitters in baseball. Throw in his ties to the city of New York along with his history of timely hitting and Ibanez would be a great option as a late inning pinch hitter for the American League.
SP Hisashi Iwakuma
In just his second year in the majors, Hisashi Iwakuma has put together a first half that competes with any other ace in the majors. His 2.42 ERA and 0.88 WHIP lead the AL, and he has complemented Mariners ace Felix Hernandez perfectly. 'Kuma is a virtual lock to make his first All-Star appearance, and he even has a chance be the starter for the AL.
SP Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball for quite some time now, and he has put together another fantastic first half in 2013. Hernandez is 8-4 and holds a 2.69 ERA, second in the AL only to fellow Mariner starter Hisashi Iwakuma. King Felix will be an All-Star for the fourth time in his career this year, and there's a very good chance that he will be making his first appearance as the American League's starting pitcher.