Mariners manager Eric Wedge said a couple of weeks ago that Justin Smoak was heading into spring training as the team’s primary first baseman. Well, he’ll be the first baseman on Opening Day as well because manager Wedge doesn’t like to make major decisions like this based off spring training results. After today’s workout, I asked Wedge whether anything could happen between now and Opening Day that could change his mind about Smoak at first base and Kendrys Morales as the DH.
“It would have to be something drastic,” he said.
There you go. Your 2013 first baseman will be Smoak and it will be his job to lose once the regular season begins. But as Wedge said, the team will have to get into the regular season first before any switch.
“I think you do,” he said. “Spring training is a part of it, but it’s by no means the biggest part of it as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got to look at everything. With guys that we’ve already had, the history helps us. Because there are so many indicators, both good and bad, that you can work off of.”
“Right now, sitting here today, we’re lined up to where Smoak is going to get the bulk of the time at first base,” he said. And Kendrys (Morales) is going to get the bulk of the time DHing. But we’ve got enouh flexibility and versatilty that we can change off that if we have to.”
Just not before the regular season starts. Not unless “sonething drastic” changes the equation. And no, in this case, a hitting slump in spring training does not count as drastic.