Make that #SentSegura.
Jean Segura has many, many thank you cards to write.
To fans, teammates and the Seattle Mariners’ relentless marketing department that blitzed social media, including changing the Mariners’ Twitter handle to #SendSegura, in order to get fans to vote Segura into the MLB All-Star Game.
MLB announced Segura won the American League’s Final Vote tally to make his second All-Star appearance, and first with the Mariners. He outlasted some other big names, including the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton, as well as the Red Sox’ Andrew Benintendi, Angels’ Andrelton Simmons and Twins’ Eddie Rosario.
Segura received 13.6 million votes, though MLB did not release the totals for the other players. The Brewers’ Jesus Aguilar won the National League Final vote with 20.2 million votes, the second most in the 18-year history of the Final Vote.
Segura will join three other Mariners at the All-Star Game. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is headed there for the fifth time in the past six years and his sixth time overall, while outfielder Mitch Haniger and closer Edwin Diaz will make their first midsummer classic appearances.
“It was unbelievable. I can’t believe there’s that kind of people around the world supporting me,” Segura told reporters.
That was a far different sentiment than the disappointment he had on Sunday when he learned he wasn’t an automatic selection.
“Fans, the marketing department for the organization, the people in Seattle, my teammates — everybody trying to help get votes for me. It feels amazing,” he said. “It feels special. You come from another country and you see how the people support you around the world. It makes it even more special.”
The moment the guys found out.— #SentSegura (@Mariners) July 12, 2018
This is all you, Mariners fans. All you. pic.twitter.com/lM6KAp0yAZ
All four players will come off the bench as reserves, barring injuries.
Mariners players offered signed bats, hats, gloves and cleats in their campaign to get Segura to Washington, D.C., for the July 17 All-Star Game. All of the team wore T-Shirts with Segura’s face on them and the Mariners had every seat on an Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles covered in the shirts among their other hijinks.
Felix Hernandez didn’t travel with the team to recover from his sore back, but he spent his afternoon yelling at passerby and cars outside of Safeco Field with his son to plead for more Segura votes.
The last time the Mariners had four players selected to the All-star game was 2014, when Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Fernando Rodney and Kyle Seager represented them.
That still pales in comparison to 2001, when the Mariners had eight players selected (Boone, Ichiro, Edgar Martinez , John Olerud, Mike Cameron, Freddy Garcia, Jeff Nelson, Kazuhiro Sasaki and manager Lou Piniella).
But back to Segura.
This is his first trip as a member of the American League All-Star team. He was a National League All-Star with the Brewers in 2013, when he hit .294 and stole 44 bases. He needs two more RBI to tie the season total he had for 2013 (49).
Wonder why they call him Jean, Jean the Hit Machine?
Segura entered Wednesday tied for third in the majors with 37 multi-hit games, which is the same as fellow All-Stars J.D. Martinez (Red Sox) and Nick Markakis (Braves).
Actually, Segura has more multi-hit games this season than games without a hit (22). He’s second in the major leagues in total hits (116) behind reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve of the Astros.
Segura had another hit in the Mariners’ loss on Tuesday, but he went 1-for-4 so his batting average dropped a point to .329. That’s the fourth-best in the majors behind Mookie Betts (.346), Altuve (.335) and J.D. Martinez (.331).
Segura is the third Mariners shortstop to make the All-Star Game, joining Craig Reynolds (1978) and Alex Rodriguez (1996-98, 2000).
“The outpouring of support by our fan base and what the group in marketing department did to create this SeguraFest, I can’t say enough about how good that it makes me feel,” Mariners manager Scott Servais told reporters. “And certainly how our players feel, knowing their support is there for something like this. It’s awesome.”
Left-hander James Paxton will take Hernandez’s place in the rotation for a Thursday start against the Los Angeles Angels, Servais told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Hernandez went to the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday because of lower back stiffness, but also because the Mariners wanted to skip his start so he can take until after the All-Star break to rejuvenate.
That left the Mariners with an open spot in the rotation. The Mariners had Monday off, which means Paxton will still pitch on normal rest.
But they had yet to call up a pitcher to start Friday’s series opener in Colorado against the Rockies. Servais said they’ll opt for that rather than use a bullpen day.
Wade LeBlanc will start on Saturday and Mike Leake on Sunday before the Mariners are on break until July 20.
Paxton (8-3, 3.49 ERA) is starting for the Mariners in the 7:07 p.m. game Thursday at Angel Stadium but the Angels had yet to announce their starter.
But the Orange County Register reported that Angels manager Mike Scioscia “penciled in” right-hander Tyler Skaggs for them.
The game will broadcast on Root Sports and 710-AM radio.