Mariners awaiting All-Star announcements
CHICAGO -- Both the American and National League All-Star teams will be announced Sunday on an hour-long show on ESPN starting at 4 p.m. PT, and the Mariners figure to have between two and four players selected.
Robinson Cano has been the leading vote-getter among fan balloting at second base and appears to be a shoo-in to land his fifth straight starting spot and sixth overall selection, while Felix Hernandez is on track to be selected for his fifth All-Star Game as he's put together the best first half of his outstanding career.
Closer Fernando Rodney also figures to have a good chance to land his second All-Star berth, while third baseman Kyle Seager is more of a long shot for his first All-Star bid despite putting up some of the best numbers in the league at his position.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon understands how difficult the decisions are for the reserve spots on the team, with 15 clubs needing to be represented by at least one player on the 34-man squad. Red Sox manager John Farrell has that chore this year after taking his team to the 2013 World Series, but McClendon was part of the process last year when Tigers manager Jim Leyland did the duties.
"When we went through that process last year, we were in Toronto in his room 'til probably 2:30 at night trying to figure out that roster," recalled McClendon, who was the Tigers' hitting coach. "It's not an easy process and I don't think people really appreciate what that manager goes through in trying to pick that team. He doesn't take it lightly."
Which is why McClendon is realistic about his young third baseman's chances.
"Seager is well-deserving," McClendon said. "Is there a chance he'll be left off? Of course there is. That's just the way it is. There are a lot of good players that get left off that roster and it's not a slight to them. It's just a tough process."
The skipper did sound as if he'd be surprised if Rodney and his 25 first-half saves weren't rewarded.
"It'd be pretty tough to leave him off," McClendon said, "but you never know."