Sep 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) walks to home plate after a foul ball in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Could Justin Smoak Be Finished In Seattle?


The Mariners are hot right now and there are those hitters who are struggling to hit like Brad Miller, but in the case of Justin Smoak he’s been struggling for years. Right now Smoak is sitting at .215 and in his career he’s batted a pathetic .226.

This has gone on long enough to be honest. Last year was supposedly Smoak’s last chance, but this year was and is Smoak’s last chance and right now he’s blowing his final chance.

Smoak has never been the hitter that he was intended to be. Smoak was acquired by the Mariners in that big Cliff Lee deal that sent him, Blake Beavan, and Josh Lueke to Seattle. Texas won that trade by the way getting both Lee and Mark Lowe in the trade.

Both Smoak and Beavan have been a huge trade bust for the Mariners, but Smoak has been the biggest bust of the trade as he was intended to be the Mariners star first basemen and all he’s done has been a Richie Sexson clone.

All he does is hit those big home runs a couple times and the other times he fails or strikes out. Smoak has averaged 111 strikeouts in his three full seasons with the Mariners and his best batting average was last year when he hit .238.

Smoak was hitting .244 at one point in the season, and since May 20th he’s had 7 hits in 51 at bats and has struck out 18 times. If he fails to hit above .250 at the end of the season I do believe that the “Justin Smoak era” will come to an end. Fans wouldn’t even be sad – except for the women who have crushes on Smoak – that Smoak will be gone.

The only problem the Mariners will have is who will be the new first basemen in replacement for Smoak? Dustin Ackley played first base in college so we could see the Mariners call up Xavier Nady and move Ackley to first if Smoak continues to struggle. Ackley has shown so far this season that he’s nearly there in showing off his talent he had in college. Ackley so far has batted .238 this season, he was up to .267 after the first game against the Minnesota Twins but has since gone into a bit of a slump since last week.

Ackley could be the player to replace Smoak at first base, let’s just hope Lloyd McClendon realizes that before he calls up (gulp) Jesus Montero! Yikes, even though Montero is batting .273 with 8 home runs, I really don’t trust that overweight cheater with being our everyday first baseman.

Smoak though better realize that not only is his future with the Mariners is in jeopardy but his career as well and start focusing on being a more disciplined hitter and getting his average up.

I’ll say this again, if Smoak finishes the season with an average below .250 with nothing to show for it, his career with the Mariners and perhaps the majors is finished.

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Tags: Justin Smoak Seattle Mariners

  • Sea-HAWK fan

    I agree long overdue.. And every time you think he might turn a corner, it’s a fluke and leaves the Mariners with no First Base production for the rest of the year.. Hasn’t it been 5 years now?? Same with Saunders but even longer.. Saunders if finally on fire and maybe he has finally turned the corner.. Atleast he is not as bad when he doesnt perform and can sit on bench..

  • Steve_Seattle

    The problem isn’t that Smoak needs more plate discipline, it’s that he has too much plate discipline. He typically takes one or two strikes, then they get him out on the sinking change-up that he swings over the top on. And when he does occasionally swing, he misses too many hittable pitches.

    • lee cousins

      Spot on.. my good man.

    • Sea-HAWK fan

      Haha to much? Is there such a thing when you stink the way Smoak does? Can’t we just say it how it is? He stinks

    • tedsfrozenhead

      You can never have too much plate discipline. Smoaks problem is he doesn’t know how to apply it beyond a .220 average. 3 or 4 years enough is enough, what we see is all hes got.

      • Steve_Seattle

        You are technically correct. I am not dissing plate discipline, I was saying that Smoak takes too many good pitches, or swings and misses at them, perhaps striving for plate discipline and therefore being tentative, early in the count. It’s like he’s trying to walk rather than trying to hit.

  • Jeff

    The M’s are preparing for life after Smoak. DJ Peterson should get a AA call up soon, ideally would start in Tacoma to start the 2014 season and at some point would make the jump to fill Smoak’s spot. The question would be if they brought Smoak back as a body until DJ is ready or they cut the cord and sign a vet on a 1 year deal.

  • tedsfrozenhead

    This was the year he needed to show he is more than a .220 hitter who pulls it together in September so he stays in the teams plans. He is a nice guy but not the player the Mariners need. Uncle Fester sets the bar way to low for this team. They both should be gone after this season if not sooner.

  • Steve Baron

    A Richie Sexson clone? If only. Sexson was actually a good player who simply got old and fell off a cliff in his early 30s. Oddly enough Sexson’s last year (2008 when he was deemed such a bust that he had to retire) saw him put up an OPS above .700 – if Smoak did that this year it would look like a minor miracle the way he’s hitting now.