BY SPNW Staff 05:48PM 07/02/2017

Cruz selected to AL All-Star team as reserve

Nelson Cruz made the AL All-Star team Sunday as a reserve at designated hitter. Cruz has 14 homers and ranks second in RBIs.

Nelson Cruz was the lone Mariner named to the American League All-Star team Sunday. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

Nelson Cruz of the Mariners made the American League All-Star team Sunday as a reserve, the only Seattle player selected for the 88th renewal of the midsummer classic July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami. The 37-year-old Cruz is an All-Star for the fifth time in his career and for the fourth time in his past five seasons. Full list of Sunday’s selections here.

Cruz, 37, who did not play Sunday in Anaheim due to knee soreness, is batting .287 with 39 runs, 17 doubles, 14 home runs, 59 RBIs, 36 walks, a .370 on-base percentage and a .502 slugging percentage in 78 games. He is the reserve designated hitter, behind Corey Dickerson of Tampa Bay.

Among AL leaders, Cruz ranks second in RBIs, 11th in on-base percentage, 15th in OPS (.872), 21st in batting average and slugging percentage, T23 in doubles and T24 in extra-base hits (31). Cruz was also selected in 2009 and 2013-15.

The biggest surprise Sunday was AL first baseman Justin Smoak, a former Mariner (2010-14). Smoak entered Sunday with a slash line of .300/.368/.592 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs. He also led AL first basemen in OPS and trailed only Logan Morrison, another former Mariner, in WAR. Before this season, Smoak never hit higher than .238 in his career.

Former Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas, now of Kansas City, also made the All-Star team. Vargas is 12-3 and leads the AL in ERA (2.22) and WAR (4.3).


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