Monday, January 21, 2013
Smoak under fire
By AJ Mass
Justin Smoak spent last week working out with the Seattle Mariners new hitting coach. The reason for urgency with the 26-year-old is obvious. He won't have a ton of time to make an impression with all the new additions to the roster in the off-season.
Among the new faces joining Smoak at Spring Training will be Mike Morse, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales and Jason Bay. That's certainly enough bodies to fill first base and all three outfield spots, and that's before taking into account returning players like Michael Saunders and Franklin Gutierrez.
Given Smoak's .217 batting average last season in 132 games, he'd better start off strong, or else there won't likely be much opportunity for the first baseman to break through the logjam in the lineup later on.