Moore: Vote for Vogey — Daniel Vogelbach should be Mariners’ All-Star
Ryan Divish, who covers the Mariners for the Seattle Times, predicts that Edwin Encarnación will be selected to represent the Mariners in the All-Star Game July 9 in Cleveland.
If each team is required to have at least one player at the Midsummer Classic, it makes sense that Encarnación would be the pick from the Mariners. He hit his 19th and 20th home runs Sunday afternoon in Anaheim and is now on a pace for 47 for the season. He’s a known commodity, and everyone seems to love his parrot routine when he rounds the bases on home-run trots. Plus he hit a milestone with his 20th longball – it was the 400th HR of his career.
So he’s turned into the most logical choice, but why would you select a player who won’t be a member of the Mariners next month? He’ll be traded to a contender for a prospect and become a footnote in franchise history, joining Jay Bruce as players who were Mariners for less than half a season.
Omar Narváez would be a good choice, too. Seattle’s catcher is averaging .275 with an OPS of .803, and his nine home runs already tie his career high with the White Sox. His offensive numbers are All-Star-caliber, I guess, but it’s hard to picture Narváez as a credible All-Star given his defensive deficiencies behind the plate.
Then again, you could say the same thing about Encarnación at first base, though he’s better than I thought he’d be at that position.
Encarnación and Narváez should be runners-up to the player who should represent the Mariners at the All-Star Game, and that’s Daniel Vogelbach. You could poke holes in this endorsement if you want – Vogey’s numbers aren’t as good as Encarnación’s and Narváez’s, but I don’t care. I stop everything I’m doing to watch him when he’s in the batter’s box, and I can’t say that about any other player on the team.
Vogelbach is a home run waiting to happen, and it’s not just an ordinary home run. It can frequently be a tape-measure shot, like the one he hit in the third deck at T-Mobile Park this year. Or his 18th round-tripper Sunday afternoon – it traveled 448 feet. He’s also a patient hitter, as you know, with a good eye.
If Encarnación gets one plate appearance in the All-Star Game, most viewers will see him and think “Hey, I didn’t know he was in Seattle” while telling their buddy that he’s the parrot guy.
If Narváez gets one plate appearance, viewers will say “meh” while acknowledging that every team needed a representative, and he’s the Mariners’ for no great reason.
But if Vogey gets one plate appearance, everyone will say “Who in the heck is this?” while yelling to their wives “Hey, honey, get a load of this guy from Seattle!”
Vogelbach has folk hero written all over him. He’s a brawny basher of baseballs, listed at 6 feet and 250 pounds, but I’d take the under on his height and over on his weight. The person who coined the term “lovable lug” had Vogelbach in mind.
If he’s not selected to the All-Star Game, he at least needs to be a participant in the Home Run Derby on July 8. I still enjoy that contest, but the addition of Vogelbach would make it even more entertaining.
Unlike Encarnación and probably Narváez, Vogey will be around when the Mariners figure to contend in the 2020s. If he can become more effective against left-handers, Vogey could be a permanent force at designated hitter.
So let’s go. I don’t even know who I’m saying let’s go to – whoever’s voting, players, fans, whomever. It’s time for an All-Star appearance from the man, the myth, the legend. It’s time to launch a Vote For Vogey campaign and make it happen.