Justin Smoak made his first rehab start last night in Triple-A Tacoma after being put on the 15-day DL with quad soreness, retroactive to June 9th.
In his 4 plate appearances for the Rainiers, Smoak walked in his first at-bat and then recorded an out in his final 3, for a stat line of 0-1, 1 BB. Despite his less than stellar offensive numbers, the Rainiers managed to beat Colorado Springs 4-2.
Smoak can return to the Mariners next Wednesday, and manager Lloyd McClendon expects him to be ready to return by that date:
The leg is feeling good… He will DH the first day or two, then get out in the field. He just needs to build his at-bats back up and then we’ll get him back up here [in Seattle]. I don’t foresee this being a 20-day thing with Justin Smoak, no.
It’s unfortunate that all the players that the Mariners had tabbed to play 1B/DH this season have severely underproduced. Logan Morrison, Corey Hart, and Justin Smoak have left a lot to be desired. Hart has the highest batting average amongst the three of them at .209. That is not what you want from one of the positions on the diamond that is supposed to be offensively productive. They share only 13 HRs between the three of them to go with 48 RBI.
If Smoak comes back as expected, he needs to get back to the ‘doubles’ approach, spraying the ball to all fields and driving in precious runs for this sub-par Mariners offense.