Seattle Mariners ace pitcher Felix Hernandez usually makes the All-Star team. Why wouldn’t he? He’s an ace, one of the very best starters in the game. He’s been this good for years, consistently ranking at or near the top of the American League in all the important stats. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer. He’s your favorite and my favorite and everyone’s favorite. He’s the best.
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Felix is also going to be an All-Star this year! To the surprise of roughly nobody, Felix was named to the All-Star team as part of the player’s ballot. It’s his sixth time as an All-Star, breaking a tie with Randy Johnson for most in franchise history amongst pitchers. When Hernandez heard that factoid that he said “sounds good. I’m happy about that.” Felix rules.
This selection comes on the heels of his first-ever All-Star Game start last year, when he took the hill for the American League in the first inning. That’s unlikely to happen again this year, because there are somehow other pitchers outperforming The King right now. No fault of his own – just that Chris Sale, Chris Archer, and Dallas Keuchel are all out of this world at the moment.
A quick refresher of what Felix has been up to this year: 110.1 innings pitched, 8.65 K/9, 2.69 BB/9, 3.02 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 1.9 WAR. Tied with Nelson Cruz for the team lead in WAR, which I may or may not have but definitely did mention yesterday. He’s been excellent! Just as always.
Also of note: this is definitely an off year for Felix so far. Hernandez ranks eleventh in the AL in ERA. He’s thirteenth in FIP. Tenth in innings pitched, ninth in strikeout rate. Great ranks, but not what we’re used to from Felix. 30th in walk rate! This is a good-not-great year from a great pitcher. Hard to get too worked up about a great guy pitching good.
Felix deserves this nod, even if he received it on the strength of his ten wins and not his top-fifteen peripherals. He’s won the second-most decisions in the league, and that – coupled with the fact that he’s Felix Hernandez – is probably why he’s going to the Midsummer Classic. Not the *right* reason, but a fine enough reason. He’s Felix. He’s a star. He rules. And so he’s going to pitch in the All-Star Game.
Congratulations to Felix Hernandez, who is a transcendental player even when he’s not at his best. He’ll be representing the M’s at the All-Star game, and remember, he’s been just as valuable as Nelson Cruz. Cruz and Hernandez are the right guys to rep the Mariners, and hopefully they both get a chance to show what they’re made of on the big stage.