Justin Smoak is having an issue with tightness in his hamstring, so he sits out tonight and Dustin Ackley gets his first major league start at first base. Ackley played that position at the University of North Carolina prior to being drafted by the Mariners in June 2009.
“I played three years there in college, pretty much every game,” said Ackley, who can be seen in the photo above, moments ago, taking grounders at first. “That was the position I was most comfortable at coming into professional baseball.”
The Mariners worked Ackey out at the position a handful of times this spring just for emergency considerations. About the only thing he’s missing now is a first baseman’s glove. Ackley wears it on his left hand, so there are only a handful of candidates he could borrow one from.
He said he’d probably ask John Jaso for his.
Jaso isn’t playing tonight because manager Eric Wedge wanted to get Munenori Kawasaki into a game. Otherwise, he’d likely have Jaso at first base and Ackley at his customary second base spot rather than Kawasaki.
Smoak said he first started feeling the hamstring tighten up on Saturday while running the bases. Then, he played Sunday and again on Monday, notching four hits. But he started to feel it again last night while on the bases.
In fact, he added, the only time he feels it is when he runs.
“It’s fine when I just walk around or do anything,” Smoak said. “Its just when I run. Hitting-wise, I didn’t feel it. Playing defense, I don’t feel it.”
On to other news, more bad luck for Adam Moore, who will undergo surgery in Seattle tomorrow to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee.
Moore injured the knee two days ago playing for Class AAA Tacoma. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Edward Khalfayan and nobody knows yet how severe the injury is.
If it’s less severe, manager Eric Wedge said Moore could be back in four-to-six weeks. But if it’s more serious — as it was last year when Moore tore the meniscus in the same knee, but a different location — then he could lose most of what remains this season or perhaps even all of it.
With these types of surgeries, the MRI beforehand doesn’t always reveal the full damage. The only way to tell 100 percent is for the surgeon to get inside and see for himself.
SS Jason Donald
2B Jason Kipnis
RF Shin-Soo Choo
C Carlos Santana
DH Travis Hafner
LF Shelley Duncan
3B Jose Lopez
1B Casey Kotchman
CF Aaron Cunningham
RHP Derek Lowe
LF Chone Figgins
1B Dustin Ackley
DH Jesus Montero
3B Kyle Seager
CF Michael Saunders
C Miguel Olivo
2B Munenori Kawasaki
SS Brendan Ryan
LHP Jason Vargas