May 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Justin Smoak feeling better this morning, won’t go on DL yet
Justin Smoak reported to Safeco Field today saying that his stiff oblique muscle is feeling better than it did last night. The Mariners are going to hold him off any activity today and then see whether the muscle improves by tomorrow.
If not, they may have to put him on the 15-day DL. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said this morning that the squad won’t be waiting around too much longer to see progress on that front. Wedge said Kendrys Morales will play first base for now with Michael Morse also available at that spot.
Morse is the DH today and Wedge said he can be a longer-term first base option as well. In other words, if Smoak does go on the DL, then the team won’t necessarily have to call up a first baseman. They can use the roster spot on somebody else.
Smoak said he’s had this type of injury before.
“Back in my first year of pro ball, I had the same thing happen on my left side,” he said. “It hurt when I coughed, when I laughed, everything. After a few days, it was OK. This one doesn’t feel as bad.”
As far as Class AAA goes, Jesus Montero somehow notched himself a triple last night. Franklin Gutierrez played right field and hit a home run. He’ll be the DH today.
Realistically, though, none of that will matter much if the Mariners don’t start winning some games. They need a bigger start by Hisashi Iwakuma — who I featured in today’s paper — than they got from Felix Hernandez last night. The Mariners have been let down big time by their starting pitchers all week. They need to try to salvage a win here today, then take advantage of the San Diego Padres in the next series if they want to get this season back on-track.
Otherwise, it could be a long few weeks ahead both on and off the field.