The Mariners placed first baseman Justin Smoak on the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday’s game because of a sore left quad.
The injury had mostly limited Smoak to a bench role the last week, and manager Lloyd McClendon said Smoak wasn’t getting better fast enough to avoid going on the disabled list.
That roster move freed up space for first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison to be activated from the disabled list. Morrison slid immediately into the starting lineup at first base on Wednesday and hit fifth.
Morrison has played in only eight games for the Mariners this season, and he hasn’t played in two months because of a strained hamstring. He hit .150 with no extra-base hits in his brief time with the big-league club.
But Morrison said his swing felt better during his 18-game rehab assignment with Class AAA Tacoma. Morison hit .308 with three homers and 11 walks for the Rainiers. He said the biggest thing he wanted to work on was the timing with his swing.
“I don’t know if you saw before I got hurt,” he said before Wednesday’s game, “but everything was to my pull side and pretty much a bunch of ground balls.”
To counter that, he wanted to make sure he was having “the same slow pace throughout my whole swing and not feeling like I panic and rush and roll over balls.”
Smoak, on the other hand, said he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, but the quad injury keeps him from running.
“I can basically do everything,” Smoak said. “It’s just a matter of running. I think we’re going to try to run Saturday and go from there.”
Smoak has also struggled at the plate recently. He’s just 2 for his last 29 (.069), with no extra-base hits and 12 strikeouts. McClendon said he is hoping to have Smoak available when the Mariners return from their upcoming road trip on June 23.
Saunders ‘banged up’ again: Outfielder Michael Saunders got “banged up” in Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, McClendon said.
Saunders missed the previous three games with a shoulder injury. He aggravated the injury against the Yankees and is day to day.