Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Smoak gets his chance
By Doug Mittler
After yet another solid finish, Justin Smoak will get a chance to be the regular first baseman for the Seattle Mariners.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Monday that barring "something drastic" Smoak will open this season at first base and Kendrys Morales will be designated hitter. Smoak hit .341 last September, the third straight season he has hit at least .300 in the season’s final month.
The 26-year-old Smoak has just a .223 batting average over three seasons, so his leash will not be a long one, nor should it be. If Smoak starts slowly, Wedge would have the option of turning to Morales or to offseason pickup Michael Morse.