The first All-Star balloting results, with just over a month remaining before the midsummer classic, were released.
Of the top five shortstops on the American League ballot, none were named Jean Segura, despite the Seattle Mariners’ shortstop leading the majors in many batting metrics.
Plenty of time remains for him to make his second All-Star appearance of his career and first since he was in the National League with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013. But just look at the competition ahead of him:
1. Manny Machado, Orioles (321,887 votes)
2. Francisco Lindor, Indians (211,756)
3. Didi Gregorius, Yankees (208,583)
4. Carlos Correa, Astros (206,727)
5. Andrelton Simmons, Angels (135,562)
This is clearly the deepest position group in the All-Star balloting.
“It is,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “There are a lot of good players in that spot.”
But he offered this in support of Segura:
“The one thing with Jean – everybody looks at what he does, numbers-wise, offensively, but I think defensively he’s been outstanding. That gets overlooked sometimes. He can really throw.”
Since Segura is piling up some elite offensive numbers, though, let’s take a look at some of those entering Tuesday:
▪ .343 – Segura’s batting average, which ranked second in the majors, trailing only Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
▪ 91 – Segura’s total hits were second in the major leagues only to reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve of the Astros. He also led the majors in multi-hit games (30) and three-it games (13).
▪ 50 – Segura’s runs scored was fifth in the majors and best among shortstops.
▪ 14 – Segura’s stolen bases, which was tied for fifth-best in the majors.
“The most interesting thing for me is Jean doesn’t just hit certain types of pitchers or pitches,” Servais said. “He makes really good adjustments and he literally takes it line to line in how he hits. He can gear up for high velocity and he can slow it down for guys who have more breaking pitches. That’s the uniqueness of him. Such a short swing and it’s fun to see how it plays out.”
And maybe the biggest number for Segura is 42. That’s the number of wins the Mariners had entering Tuesday, and only the Red Sox had more than them of any team in the majors.
He’s become a team leader, too, especially since his good friend and mentor Robinson Cano was hit with an 80-game drug suspension last month.
“Whenever he sees me on a mound visit or changing a pitcher, when he sees that concerned look in my face he’s like, ‘C’mon, Skip – happy, happy. We’re happy,’” Servais said. “He’s a very happy-go-lucky guy.”
But among the top five at their position groups, Dee Gordon was third among second basemen (87,647 votes), even though he started the season and has played more games for the Mariners in center field. And Mitch Haniger was 13th among outfielders (100,149).
Right-handed reliever Nick Vincent was supposed to throw 25 pitches in a routine bullpen session on Monday in front of Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.
He didn’t make it through 14 before they agreed to shut him down.
Vincent is on the 10-day disabled list with a groin strain and was close to beginning a rehab assignment (one would have sufficed for him to return to the Mariners). But Monday’s setback means he might not throw off a mound again until later this weekend.
“He has to build up to where he can be comfortable throwing a 20-25 pitch bullpen,” Servais said. “He still felt it pushing off the rubber. He’s fine on the flat ground and a little different when he gets up on the rubber. We are just slowing him down a bit before the rehab assignment.”
So what does this mean for the Mariners’ bullpen?
They’re already without right-hander Juan Nicasio, who headed to the disabled list Friday with swelling in his knee. And right-hander Dan Altavilla is far from throwing because of a Grade 1 flexor mass strain after first feeling something in it while trying to warm up in Houston last week.
Servais said, though, that the swelling has subsided in Nicasio’s knee, though they don’t have a definite time or date when he’ll get on a mound next.
Remember when the Mariners re-acquired Roenis Elias from the Boston Red Sox in late April?
They announced Tuesday that outfield prospect Eric Filia, who is the No. 15-ranked prospect in the Mariners’ organization, according to MLB Pipeline, is headed to Boston. He was suspended the first 50 games of the minor-league season for testing positive for a drug of abuse.
Filia was activated May 30 with Double-A Arkansas and was hitting .426 (23-for-54) with a home run and 14 RBI. He was a 20th-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2016.
The Mariners have signed 29 of their 40 picks.
One not yet signed is first-round selection Logan Gilbert, the 6-foot-6 right-hander out of Stetson University.
But he was scheduled to arrive in Seattle later this week and is likely to sign soon. Mariners amateur scouting director Scott Hunter said they had a verbal agreement to sign Gilbert after Stetson’s season ended, which occurred on Sunday in a loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Super Regional, one series win away from the College World Series.
But they had announced the signing of Louisville outfielder Josh Stowers, their second-round selection, as well as King’s Way Christian (Vancouver, Washington) right-hander Damon Casetta-Stubbs, an 11th round pick.
The Mariners head back to Facebook on Wednesday, their second Facebook Watch game of the season. The 1:10 p.m. series finale against the Los Angeles Angels will only be available to view on Facebook Watch – no Root Sports. The game can be watched from a computer, tablet, phone or by streaming to a TV.
Left-hander Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.28 ERA) gets the start for the Mariners, while the Angels list right-hander Garrett Richards (4-4, 3.26 ERA) as their starter.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677