Sunday, July 3, 2011

MARINERS: Felix Hernandez and Brandon League get selected to the All-Star game and the East Coast Bias’ curse on Michael Pineda

So, if you haven’t heard by now, Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez and closer Brandon League have been selected to play in the 2011 MLB All-Star game. King Felix has been invited one other time in 2009, while this is League’s first trip.

Both of these guys deserve to represent the Mariners in Phoenix on July 11. Hernandez made it largely because he’s fourth in the American League with 129 innings pitched and third in strikeouts (124), but there was a chance of him NOT making it with Felix being ranked 22nd in ERA (3.35), 19th in WHIP (1.19) and only having eight wins. His reputation likely helped out a bit.

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Unlike the King, Brandon League couldn’t rely on his reputation to be named an All-Star.... he had to earn it. League leads the American League in saves with 22, even having more at this point than the great Mariano Rivera (21 saves). The former Toronto Blue Jay has only blown 3 saves all year, with all of those within days of each other back in June.

While it’s not shock to see the 2010 AL Cy Young winner and the AL leader in saves be a part of the All-Star team, there is a man that shocked me (and many other Mariners fans) by not being voted on.

Michael Pineda.

The rookie sensation is sixth in the American League in ERA (2.65), seventh in WHIP (1.03), 11th in strikeouts (99), and fourth in opponent AVG (.198). Overall, his numbers are better than Felix’s, but he’s somehow not in the All-Star game. We can only assume Pineda isn’t going to Phoenix, because, well, his name isn’t that well known on the East Coast yet. If Pineda was playing in Boston, all of baseball would be bowing down at his feet shooing him into the All-Star game. So in three words, he got robbed.

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