Mariners manager Eric Wedge had said Saturday that he thought first baseman Justin Smoak might be ready to start Sunday's game. Instead, Smoak went on...
MINNEAPOLIS — Mariners manager Eric Wedge had said Saturday that he thought first baseman Justin Smoak might be ready to start Sunday’s game.
Instead, Smoak went on the disabled list, retroactive to May 30, the day after he pinch-hit against the San Diego Padres. Smoak has been battling a oblique injury since hurting it on a checked swing against the Texas Rangers on May 25. But he hasn’t progressed as rapidly as hoped.
“The last two or three days it’s still the same, really,” Smoak said. “It hasn’t taken a step forward, it hasn’t taken a step backwards, it’s just kind of stayed the same.”
“Left-handed, I haven’t been able to do much. I don’t want to go out there and be a right-handed hitter, and a righty gets out on the mound and we have to take me out. … I’d rather be out a little over a week or whatever it is rather than month and half or so. We have a lot of season left, and I’d rather miss a little time than a lot.”
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Smoak said he’ll continue his strengthening exercises but will back off from swinging for three or four days.
“It’s just nagging, so let it heal and go from there,” he said.
Mariners make moves
With Smoak on the DL, that cleared room on the 25-man roster for Jeremy Bonderman, who was selected from Tacoma and started Sunday’s game. To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder/outfielder Vinnie Catricala was designated for assignment. Catricala was the Mariners’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2011, but had a disappointing season with Tacoma in 2012 and was struggling this year with Class AA Jackson.
In one other move announced Sunday, the Mariners traded outfielder Francisco Martinez to the Tigers for cash or a player to be named. Martinez was supposed to be a key player in the Doug Fister trade with Detroit in 2011, when the Mariners acquired him as a third baseman. But he never hit much, was converted to the outfield, and then designated for assignment last week.
Now Martinez is going back to his original organization, with word that the Tigers plan to move him back to third base. The Mariners thus have even less to show for the Fister trade — just reliever Charlie Furbush and pitcher Chance Ruffin, who is being converted to a starter in Jackson.
Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @StoneLarry.