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July 25, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Let’s do away with the urban legend surrounding Justin Smoak and his “thumb injury”

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Here’s a funny story to lighten the mood a bit. For weeks now, there has been a lot of concern expressed here and on other sites that Justin Smoak has some type of thumb injury. The theory has been that Smoak is valiantly battling his way through pain each and every night and that this is why his numbers have tumbled.
No, that’s not it. But it had me convinced. After all, I’d see Smoak go out there day after day with a bandage on his left thumb.
So, today, a few of us asked him about it.
Smoak laughed. He doesn’t have a thumb injury. He has two blisters on it from all the extra batting cage work he’s been doing trying to get his numbers up.
“There’s a blister here and there’s a blister here,” Smoak said, pointing to the spots. “There’s a lot of cage work that’s been going on.”
Smoak said the blisters cropped up over the past month or so. He’s been putting in the extra work “to try to get that feel back. Especially from the left side.”
BTW, just noticed that Lookout Landing did a post on the thumb thing a short time before I posted this. This post was not meant to have anything to do with that one — either as a response or a commentary — but the LL one shows you just how much conversation Smoak’s thumb has generated.

In other news, Erik Bedard is now scheduled to start on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Seattle. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Bedard will be on a pitch count limit of sorts, but isn’t prepared to give it out just yet.
Shawn Kelley is to fly to Tacoma tomorrow and pitch in Wednesday’s game for the Rainiers. Kelley will be limited to relief work as he tries to get back into playing condition so he can join the Mariners in August.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for,” Kelley said. “I get to pitch again.”
Chone Figgins is still tending to that family emergency, details of which have not been made public. There is an outside chance Figgins could be here with the team tonight, but as of a half-hour ago, the Mariners still weren’t sure.
The Mariners are big news nationally now because of their losing streak, at 15 games and counting. A large contingent of East Coast media types arrived in the clubhouse and with manager Wedge for his pre-game briefing. Probably the largest we’ve seen all season. Most of them wanted to know about the streak and how the team was handling it. Hey, go big or go home, right?
Mariners (43-58)
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
30 Miguel Olivo C
4 Adam Kennedy (L) 3B
20 Mike Carp (L) DH
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
56 Greg Halman LF
38 Jason Vargas LHP
Yankees (59-40)
2 Derek Jeter SS
14 Curtis Granderson (L) CF
25 Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
24 Robinson Cano (L) 2B
33 Nick Swisher (S) DH
55 Russell Martin C
18 Andruw Jones RF
26 Eduardo Nunez 3B
11 Brett Gardner (L) LF
36 Freddy Garcia RHP

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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