Is Vargas emerging as darkhorse All-Star candidate?
Not a lot of Mariners love in the initial release of All-Star voting today. No Seattle position player cracked the top five. Ichiro is ninth among outfielders, where they go 15 deep in the vote totals.
Ichiro had his streak of 10 straight All-Star berths snapped last year. The Mariners haven’t put up great offensive numbers early and most of their guys are young, so no real surprise in any of this.
Kyle Seager is having a nice season at third base (.274, 7 HR, 32 RBI), but he’s in his first full year in the Majors and isn’t well known nationally at a position where Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Moustakas are currently leading the vote.
The interesting question at this point figures to be which Mariner does get selected to the All-Star team this year. Last year the club had three — Felix Hernandez, Brandon League and Michael Pineda.
Hernandez is 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 12 starts and now is going to miss at least one start due to some back soreness. He’s been good, but not great, in the first two months and could well be the Mariners pick if he gets healthy and wins a few more before the All-Star break.
But the surprising guy who might be putting himself in position right now is Jason Vargas, who is tied for the AL lead in wins after last night’s victory at 7-4 with a 3.64 ERA. And it’s worth noting that Vargas has a 1.10 WHIP and opposing batters are hitting .227, while Hernandez has a 1.26 WHIP and batters are hitting .251.
You can see all the All-Star voting for both the AL and NL at the bottom of this story on MLB.com.