Cano to represent Seattle in 7th All-Star Game

Cano to represent Seattle in 7th All-Star Game

HOUSTON -- Robinson Cano is headed back to the Midsummer Classic and the veteran second baseman couldn't be happier after proving he's still one of the elite players in the game with a sterling first half with the Mariners. Cano was the only Seattle player selected for the American League All-Star team that was announced Tuesday.

Cano will be a reserve on the AL squad for the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego next Tuesday. It will be the seventh All-Star appearance for the 33-year-old, who became the all-time leading home run hitter among second basemen in AL history earlier this year and has led a Mariners resurgence that has Seattle contending for an AL Wild-Card spot.

"It's one of the achievements you want," Cano said after learning of his selection. "That's a memory that everyone is always excited about. For me, it means a lot more because this year I'm going to be able to bring my son and he's going to be able to enjoy that. It'll be a great moment, just me and my son there."

Cano said he'll consider participating in the Home Run Derby as well, which he won in 2011 and also participated in during the '12 and '13 All-Star festivities.

Cano saw his string of five consecutive All-Star starts snapped last year when he endured a rough first half and hit the break batting just .251 with six homers and 30 RBIs. But since that time, Cano has returned to his old self, batting .316 with 34 homers and 103 RBIs in 153 games, including .303 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs in 83 games this year.

"Obviously Robbie has had a great first half for us and really led our team," manager Scott Servais said. "He had that home run binge early in the season and he's been out there every day. It's nice to see him back healthy this year. I'm really excited for him to get this opportunity. He's certainly deserved it."

Per Baseball-Reference.com, Cano is tied for fifth in the AL in position player WAR at 3.6, behind only Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, Jose Altuve and Manny Machado. Altuve won the fan's vote as the AL's starting second baseman, with Cano finishing second.

"I love watching him," Cano said of the Astros second baseman. "He hits the ball hard, does something and he's out there every day. The numbers he's putting up are unbelievable. The last two years he's raking. Not just second basemen, everybody would love to have that kind of season."

Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz was not selected to the AL team despite his 21 home runs, 54 RBIs and .280 batting average, and third baseman Kyle Seager also didn't make it despite hitting .274 with 16 homers, 54 RBIs and ranking 10th in position player WAR in the AL at 3.5.

"They both have the numbers to go, but that's something out of my hands," Cano said. "And it's not over yet. People get hurt, you have the Final Vote. I hope they make it. It's always good to have a teammate with you."

The Mariners did not have one of the five Final Vote candidates, however, and remain the only Major League team that has never had an entrant in the Final Vote competition.

Seager's younger brother, Corey, who is having a big season as a rookie shortstop with the Dodgers, was selected to his first All-Star Game as a National League reserve.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez saw his string of six straight All-Star selections snapped as he's missed the past five weeks with a strained right calf.

Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 1 p.m. PT on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 1-2 p.m. PT. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 7 a.m.-1 p.m. PT on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

At 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.