With the M’s floating just above or just below the .500 mark with their team record as we head into June it’s time to start thinking about the All-Star team.
For the first time in what seems like quite a while the M’s have more than a single name that could wind up playing in the 2014 All-Star game at shiny, new Target Field in Minneapolis.
Here’s who could make the team.
The M’s perennial all-star, Felix Hernandez, is having yet another brilliant season. To date he’s in the top ten in wins with 6, ERA with 2.75, and strikeouts with 74. All in all, it’s Felix being Felix.
He’s pitched well enough to win a couple more games than he has too. Gee, I think we’ve heard that before too.
Right alongside Hernandez is Hisashi Iwakuma and just like Felix, Iwakuma is being Iwakuma once again. He has a 2.39 ERA, has thrown 37.2 innings in just 5 starts and walked just two batters during his entire season.
Iwakuma has just three wins in his five starts.
Quite honestly, he should have four. Back on 5/13 he pitched eight scoreless innings against the Rays only to have the bullpen blow the 1-0 lead he had in the ninth.
Working against Iwakuma is the fact that he spent the first month of the season on the DL. He might not get in because of those missed starts despite his extremely impressive stats to date.
Yep, I figured we’d be penciling the name, Robinson Cano, in for the M’s when he signed for that whopping $240 million over 10 years during this past offseason. The great news is, he’s been worth the money so far.
Cano’s slash line (BA/OB%/Slugging%) is .333 / .377 / .428. Power-wise, Cano has driven in 31 runs with 11 doubles, one triple, and two home runs.
I hear a lot of you complaining daily about Cano’s home run total but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now– Robinson Cano is not a homerun hitter. He never has been.
If you want someone to compare Cano too hitting-wise, think Edgar Martinez. He’s going to hit well over .300 for you and hit maybe 20-25 homers in the process. He’s going to hit line drives and he’s not afraid to hit the ball the other way.
Defensively, Cano has been everything you could ever want at 2nd base. He makes all the routine plays, makes difficult plays look easy and throws in a dazzling play here and there too. Cano has recorded just two errors on the season.
Who’s not making the team?
Who get’s my vote for the Mariner who’s had the worst season so far? That’s tough because I’m torn between two guys. One is a player, the other is a pitcher so I’m going to talk about both of them.
Brandon Maurer has been, less than All-Star like this season. Forced into the rotation from AAA due to so many injuries Maurer as been unable to average even 5 innings per start. His ERA is 6.99 and opposing batters are hitting over .300 against him.
I have to go with Brad Miller as the M’s worst position player on the season. After batting nearly .400 during Spring Training Miller has proved something in spectacular fashion that I have believed for a very long time– Spring stats don’t mean anything.
What’s that Lou Brown quote when you comment to him that a guy is hitting well during spring training? “Yah, off a guy that will be bagging groceries in a month”. Yah, that pretty much sums it up.
During the 2014 regular season Miller is batting a woeful .151. He has 41 strikeouts in 146 ABs. His OB% is just .230. I could go on but it’s too painful.
Defensively, he’s been okay but he also made a huge, critical error on a routine ground ball that would have ended the game and given the M’s a win. Instead of making the play, he kicked the ball for an error and the next batter ended the game walk off style.
Despite the rough start to the season for Maurer and Miller the M’s are playing better than they have in many seasons. They continue to float around .500.
Rookie James Jones has been very impressive too. If you are really a Mariners fan, this is a pretty good season so far. It certainly has given us hope.