It was awards night Friday at Safeco Field, with the Seattle-Tacoma chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America handing out prestigious trophies to three Seattle Mariners.
Well, trophies, anyway.
Who won what?
• Third baseman Kyle Seager was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player, hitting .258 heading into weekend play with a team-high 18 home runs and team-best 81 RBI.
• Right-hander Felix Hernandez was the Most Valuable Pitcher, going 13-8 with a 2.85 earned-run average in 31 starts with three more to pitch.
• Catcher/designated hitter/pinch hitter John Jaso, who didn’t play much in April, was named the Unsung Hero, batting a team-best .277 with nine home runs and 47 RBI in 267 at-bats.
Asked about his award-winning players, manager Eric Wedge weighed in on each.
“We liked the way Jaso played before we traded for him, but he’s come a long way this season,” Wedge said. “He’s had a lot of game-winning hits for us, there’s a lot to like there.”
“You know what he did in August, when he threw the perfect game and was pitcher of the month, and his last start, when we were short in the bullpen, he stepped up and gave us eight great innings,” Wedge said. “I’m proud to have him.”
“Kyle’s played well at third base and been our most consistent run producer,” Wedge said. “You see his progress, you see him getting better.”
Someone asked whether Felix should win the American League Cy Young Award.
“I don’t want to get into that, but I will say that for every postseason award, there are two to three, three to five guys you have to take into consideration,” Wedge said.
SEAGER HAS WORK TO DO
Seager came to spring training this year faster, quicker and stronger, and his plans for this offseason are to improve – in each of those areas.
“That, and work on my swing,” Seager said. “I’ve learned a lot about hitting this year, and I want to be more consistent next season. I want to work on not getting caught out front at the plate, on getting my hips and upper body into my swing at the same time.
“Basically, I can get stronger and faster, and I want my swing locked in.”
Shortstop Carlos Triunfel got the first big league start of his career Friday, batting ninth against Texas lefty Martin Perez. Expect Brendan Ryan to return to the position tonight. ... Add Felix: With 207 strikeouts this season, he has struck out 200 or more in each of the past four seasons – just the second Mariner to do so. The first? Randy Johnson, who did it in five consecutive years from 1991-95. ... Coming in cold? When the Mariners opened the series against the Rangers, they brought in an 0-for-22 stretch of at-bats with runners in scoring position. ... The Boys of Summer: Since the season changed June 20, the Mariners played 44 games and went 24-20. ... Seattle players held a kangaroo court session Friday that began at 2 p.m. and didn’t end until 3:40 p.m. Judges Hernandez, Kevin Millwood and Chone Figgins handled dozens of cases. “Not everyone was guilty, but if they won their case, whoever brought the charges against them was fined,” Millwood said.
Seattle hosts Texas in a 6:10 p.m. game that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Texas’ Matt Harrison (17-9, 3.26 ERA) vs. Blake Beavan (9-10, 4.88).firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue