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Mariners demote Justin Smoak to Triple-A

Jul 4, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT

Justin Smoak AP AP

Justin Smoak is off the disabled list after missing nearly a month with a strained quadriceps, but instead of simply adding him to the active roster the Mariners demoted the first baseman to Triple-A.

Smoak really struggled before the injury, hitting .208 with seven homers and a .643 OPS in 63 games, which is a 100-point drop from his 2013 production.

Logan Morrison has been serving as Seattle’s everyday first baseman and rather than shifting him back to the outfield the Mariners will leave him there and stick with Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders in the corner spots while using the newly activated Corey Hart at designated hitter.

Last year was just the second time in Smoak’s career that he’s been an above-average hitter, so the Mariners may simply be ready to give up on the 27-year-old former top prospect.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    There’s plenty of guys out there like Justin Smoak who can swing the bat well for short spurts, but if you can’t perform on any sort of consistent basis than it will prove difficult for you to catch on with a team in this league. Aside from simply playing well, big leaguers also need the ability to handle failure appropriately…seeing how even the very best hitters fail 2 out of every 3 at-bats. It is truly a constant mental battle that not everyone is cut out for.

  2. denny65 - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Sounds as if this move may have been in the works for a few days. Now let’s just hope Morrison can continue with the hot bat and hart can step up in the DH slot.

  3. illbarry - Jul 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I have no problem with it. He has been struggling and needs to regroup.

  4. mmason0071 - Jul 4, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    ‘Bout time. His fellow ‘top prospect’ Dustin Ackley needs to join him. That top prospect moniker has bought them much longer ML careers than their perfomance has deserved.

    BTW, if Smoak was an above-average hitter last year then the average hitter really sucks.

    • illbarry - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      He had 19 homeruns last year. Through much of this year he led the team in RBI’s and doubles. Led the league in 2 out RBI’s this year and also RBI’s after the 7th inning. He struggled of late before he got injured. He also had no backup and unlike the rest of position players was not getting any days off to regroup. When you play tired you get into bad habits. Morrison also struggled before he got hurt and had an extended time in tripple A and he is now hitting. The Mariners will need both bats in August September so there is no need to rush Smoak back to the majors right now.

      • genebulge - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Smoak got off to a fast start and had a pretty good April. At the major league level you cant just have one or two good months and expect to stick around. He was suppose to be Texas top prospect when they traded him in the Cliff Lee deal. By the age of 27 you either have what it takes or you don’t and I believe the upper management have finally concluded that he has never lived up to his billing. I also believe that the cant miss label on Ackley has proven to be another mistaken identity. We were all so anxious for Ackley to finally get called up to the big club because of all the hype about what a great hitter he is as well as a sharp fielding second baseman. There comes a time when teams have to finally admit that they were wrong about someone and move forward.

  5. carpi2 - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    One of the pitfalls with trading away proven MLB Stars for prospects. No matter the perceived pedigree of the prospect, it is largely a crap-shoot on what you’re receiving in return for your stars.

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