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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

July 26, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Chone Figgins in at third base; revisiting Justin Smoak’s thumb issue

Chone Figgins is back in at third base tonight for the Mariners. Figgins has been in New York City this entire time and is indeed taking batting practice indoors right now as we speak, The Mariners did not take outdoor BP today, nor did they get to the ballpark early. Mariners manager Eric Wedge ordered the team bus to leave the Manhattan hotel no earlier than 1 p.m. PT so that the players could enjoy extra time away from the ballpark.
“I’m just trying to mix it up and get them away from it a little bit,” Wedge said. “I feel like they’re all carrying the weight of the world around on their shoulders. Sometimes, you’ve just got to mentally remove yourself a little from this. Whether it be last night or today, I just told them ‘Stay away from anything sports-oriented, relax with your family or just go out and have some fun.’ ”
Yesterday, we wrote about Justin Smoak and his thumb and how he’s got a couple of blisters on it. There was also the issue with his other thumb, where he suffered a bruise on it just over a month ago. At the time, the M’s said Smoak was ill.
Today, I asked Wedge about it.


Wedge told me Smoak’s thumb was indeed an issue back when it happened and that the team kept quiet about it so that he would not be exploited by opposing pitchers. But he also said that Smoak has felt better for some time now and that the thumb hasn’t been an issue for some time.
“I think physically he’s been beyond it for a while,” Wedge said. “I think there are still moments maybe when he can feel it. That’s pretty natural. It may be ongoing for a long time. A lot of players get that.”
So again, there you go. While some of Smoak’s struggles may have been thumb-related, the soreness in the fleshy part between his thumb and index finger — known as “a zinger” in baseball parlance — only happened late last month. Smoak had been slumping for nearly two months prior and has had trouble well after Wedge feels he was fine physically.
So, while we can blame the thumb for some of it, the majority of it we certainly cannot.
Mariners (43-59)
——————————-
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
30 Miguel Olivo C
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
20 Mike Carp (L) DH
56 Greg Halman LF
9 Chone Figgins (S) 3B
——————————-
58 Doug Fister RHP
Yankees (60-40)
——————————-
11 Brett Gardner (L) LF
2 Deret Jeter SS
14 Curtis Granderson (L) CF
25 Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
24 Robinson Cano (L) 2B
33 Nick Swisher (S) RF
20 Jorge Posada (S) DH
12 Eric Chavez (L) 3B
17 Francisco Cervelli C
——————————-
52 CC Sabathia LHP

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins

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