by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (11:04 am ET) Playing in his first MLB game since May 29, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak homered in his return to the lineup Tuesday against the Angels. Smoak, who was activated off the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game, was part of a back-to-back home-run tandem with Raul Ibanez leading off the second inning.
It was Smoak's fourth home run and third in his last nine games. All of Smoak's home runs this season have been solo home runs and Tuesday's homer was his first before the ninth inning. Dating back to April 29, Smoak has a .279 average and .485 slugging percentage in his last 21 games.
Justin Smoak back from DL
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (6/18/2013) The Mariners have officially activated first baseman Justin Smoak from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game against the Angels. Smoak, who had been on the disabled list since May 30 with a strained oblique, hit .240/.350/.344 with three homers and eight RBI in 46 games.
Report: Justin Smoak getting activated
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (6/18/2013) The Mariners are in the process of activating first baseman Justin Smoak off the disabled list to join the team for Tuesday's game against the Angels, the Seattle Times reports. This is not official yet.
Smoak went 2 for 5 with a double and run scored in his fifth rehab game with Triple-A Tacoma Monday. He has been out since May 30 with a strained oblique muscle.
Justin Smoak could return Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (6/16/2013) Mariners manager Eric Wedge told MLB.com that he is considering the possibility of first baseman Justin Smoak returning to the team as early as Monday, according to MLB.com.
"I don't want to lock myself into anything just yet," Wedge said.
Smoak began his minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma Thursday night. He is hitting .250 with an RBI in eight bats in his rehab stint.
Justin Smoak begins rehab assignment
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (6/14/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak began his minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma Thursday night.
Smoak singled in a run in the ninth inning for his only hit of the night. He finished 1 for 5 with an RBI in an 11-0 win over Las Vegas. He has been out since May 30 with a strained oblique muscle and is eligible to rejoin the Mariners as early as Saturday.
Justin Smoak nearing rehab assignment
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (6/12/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak took left-handed swings Wednesday, the Seattle Times reports. As long as Smoak comes away fine after Wednesday's practice, he could begin a rehab assignment Thursday.
Smoak will join Triple-A Tacoma Thursday to begin his rehab. He has been out since May 30 with a strained oblique muscle.
Justin Smoak nearing rehab assignment
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (6/10/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak took some left-handed swings with the bat Monday and said he's nearing a return to action, MLB.com reports.
The Mariners plan to send him on a minor-league rehab assignment shortly with Triple-A Tacoma, though they have not set a date for that to begin.
The switch-hitting Smoak has been out since May 30 with a strained oblique. He's been hitting off a tee, but he took full swings on flip tosses Monday for the first time.
"Everything felt good," Smoak said. "I was finally able to let it go a little bit today. Right-handed has felt fine, it's just been left-handed that I've been worried about. It's more just my mind letting it go on that left side. Now we'll take batting practice tomorrow in the field and go from there."
Mariners not ready to start 'clock' on Justin Smoak
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (6/9/2013) Mariners manager Eric Wedge said first baseman Justin Smoak (oblique) is OK hitting from the right side, but not as comfortable hitting left-handed, according to The Seattle Times. Smoak is expected to complete a rehab assignment before returning.
"Until he’s good to go," manager Eric Wedge said, "I don’t want to start that clock."
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/31/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was not able to return to the starting lineup Friday against the Twins, as he continues to recover from an oblique injury. He has been out of the starting lineup for six games, and has appeared just once as a pinch hitter.
Justin Smoak close to swinging lefty
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/30/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak could be ready to return to the lineup as early as Friday according to MLB.com, as he continues to recover from an oblique injury. Smoak pinch-hit Wednesday from the right side of the plate and is nearly able to swing lefty.
"He's close, just not yet," Wedge said. "We got him in yesterday and gave him a chance to hit a homer in that situation. You've got to do that. The guy threw him a couple changeups, so he was a little out front, but the batting practice was encouraging yesterday. We still need to get him a little further along, so we'll see how his work goes today and where he's at. But I don't think he's too far away from hitting left-handed. And when I say not too far away, I'm hoping as early as tomorrow."
Smoak has been out since Saturday recovering from the injury.
Justin Smoak still not starting
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/30/2013) Despite being able to play in Wednesday's game as a pinch hitter, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was out of the starting lineup again Thursday against the Padres. Smoak has been out of the starting lineup since Saturday while recovering from an oblique strain. He's considered day to day.
Justin Smoak appears as pinch-hitter
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/30/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (oblique) appeared Wednesday as a pinch-hitter, just as it was foreshadowed. Smoak flied out to left in the eighth inning and did not remain in the game.
It is still likely a few days before Smoak will be able to start in the field. He is considered day to day.
Justin Smoak could be used as pinch hitter
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/29/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak is still likely a few days from returning to the lineup, but he told MLB.com Wednesday that he could pinch hit from the right side of the plate if the team needs him. Smoak took batting practice Wednesday, the first time he has done so since suffering the injury to his oblique Friday.
Justin Smoak still out of lineup
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/29/2013) Although Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak has continued to say he's feeling better from his strained oblique injury, he remains out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Padres.
Out since Saturday, Smoak hit off a tee and received cut-off throws before Tuesday's game. He took batting practice Wednesday and should get back to action by the weekend.
Justin Smoak feeling better
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/28/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak said his strained oblique was feeling much better Tuesday as he remained out of the lineup against the Padres, MLB.com reports.
Smoak, who has been out since Saturday, hit off a tee and received cut-off throws near the pitcher's mound before Tuesday's game. Smoak should take batting practice Wednesday and could be back in the lineup against the Padres or against the Twins over the weekend.
"It's not at the point like there's a knife in my side," he said. "It's more a tightness thing."
Justin Smoak still not in lineup
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/28/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak remained out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Padres. Smoak underwent tests Monday on his injured oblique and the results have not been released.
Smoak last played Saturday and is hitting .242 after going 2 for 14 in his last four games. He has three homers and eight RBI in 153 at-bats. There disabled list remains a possibility.
Justin Smoak undergoes tests
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/27/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak, who was held out of Monday's game against the Padres, underwent tests Monday. The Mariners will find out within a day or two whether Smoak's injury is a day-to-day situation or whether he'd have to have to go on the disabled list, MLB.com reports.
Justin Smoak doesn't feel injury is too serious
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/26/2013) As expected, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was held out of the starting lineup Sunday against the Rangers after leaving Saturday's game with an oblique injury. Smoak, however, told reporters he doesn't think his injury is too serious.
Kendrys Morales started at first base in Smoak's absence.
Justin Smoak suffers oblique injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/26/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak left Saturday's game against the Rangers in the eighth inning with a strained oblique, manager Eric Wedge said. He's expected to be re-evaluated Sunday.
Smoak apparently suffered the injury on a check swing in the first inning, according to MLB.com. He made it through three at-bats before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
"He didn't think that much of it, and then it didn't go away," Wedge said of Smoak's pain.
Michael Morse moved over from right field to first base to replace Smoak, who is batting .286 with three home runs, six doubles and five RBI in his last 25 games. Kendrys Morales is the only other Seattle player to draw a start at first base this season besides Smoak.
Home runs the key for Justin Smoak
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (5/21/2013) Believe it or not, Justin Smoak has been on a pretty good run over his last 21 games, batting .314 (22 for 70) with a .970 OPS. He also has 16 walks compared to just 17 strikeouts during that stretch, demonstrating the plate discipline that helped define his minor-league career and top-prospect standing.
The problem? His home run that briefly gave the Mariners the lead in the 10th inning Monday at Cleveland was just his third this season. He could walk 100 times and not amount to anything at the deep first base position if he tops out at a dozen homers.
For what it's worth, both Smoak and Eric Wedge think the home runs will come if Smoak continues to wait for his pitch and not try to yank everything out of the ballpark -- something he struggled with his first few years in the league -- but until we see some evidence of it, I don't see the need to rush out and grab him in Fantasy.
Justin Smoak finding power swing
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/20/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak connected for a solo home run in the top of the 10th inning Monday at Cleveland, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead and Yan Gomes hit a walk-off, three-run homer to win the game in the bottom of the inning. It was Smoak's third home run and second in three games.
He extended his hitting streak to five games Monday. Smoak is batting .350 (7 for 20) with one double, two home runs, two RBI, three walks and five runs in that span.
Justin Smoak creating 'a little more damage'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/19/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak enters play Sunday against the Indians batting .328 (20 for 61) with a .468 on-base percentage, .525 slugging percentage and .992 OPS in his last 19 games. His batting average has risen from .188 to .254 in that stretch.
"I’ve been squaring balls up," Smoak said to MLB.com. "I’ve hit a couple doubles. The homers will come. In the past I’ve got too pull happy trying to be a homer guy. It’s not good for me, as we’ve seen in the past. I’m just trying to get good at-bats, hit the ball where it’s pitched. It’s a long season. Good things will happen."
“I feel like Smoak and [Dustin] Ackley have been getting their hits, but now with Justin he’s starting to create a little more damage," Wedge said. "But he’s been getting on base, he’s had long at-bats. Those have all been good things to see."
Justin Smoak part of back-to-backs
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/18/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak went back-to-back in the ninth inning with Raul Ibanez Saturday in a loss at Cleveland.
Smoak hit his second homer of the season, a solo shot off closer Chris Perez. He went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. He added a double and is batting .254.
The 26-year-old has hit in three straight and is 5 for 11 with three walks over that span.
by Adam Moore | CBSSports.com (5/11/2013) Mariners first basemen Justin Smoak has been on a doubles tear. Smoak, who has six two-baggers this year, has doubled in each of his last four games at Safeco Field.
The only previous Mariners to double in four straight games at Safeco were Ichiro Suzuki in 2002 and Michael Morse in 2006.
Smoak entered Saturday's tilt against the Athletics hitting .318 ( 14 for 44) with one home run and three RBI over his last 13 games.
"I haven't really felt bad all year," Smoak told MLB.com. "I've hit balls hard. I just have to keep having good at-bats and squaring balls up, and sooner or later they'll start going over the fence or in the gap."
Justin Smoak having trouble solving lefties
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (5/9/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak has struggled against left-handed pitchers this season. Smoak, a switch hitter, has hit just .167/.268/.194 in 41 plate appearances against southpaws this season.
Smoak hasn't shown massive splits against righties and lefties in his career, so his struggles against lefties this year may just be a blip on the radar.
Sizzling Justin Smoak gets a break
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/4/2013) After starting the previous four games at first base, the Mariners gave Justin Smoak a rest Saturday in Toronto against R.A. Dickey.
The 26-year-old is batting .243 and has hits in nine of his last 10 games. He's gone 12 for 34 (.353) over that stretch with a homer, two RBI and eight walks for a .476 on-base percentage and .559 slugging percentage.
Time to jump on Justin Smoak?
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (5/2/2013) In his last nine games, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak is hitting .355 with four doubles and a home run. His OPS is 1.054 in that stretch, and he's walked seven times while striking out just five.
He has 28 Fantasy points over the last two scoring periods -- and the second period is still going. Owned in just 17 percent of leagues, Smoak is making a case for a spot on the Most Added boards. This is the Smoak that started to emerge last September (five home runs and a .341 average) and in spring training (five home runs and a .407 average).
The 26-year-old former top 15 prospect and first-round draft pick hasn't really hit his prime just yet. And while Smoak's average may not be quite up to par (his current .240 average would be a career high), he has shown some nice power over the last two years, with 34 total home runs in just 910 at-bats -- a pace that would have equaled about 22 home runs over full seasons.
A must-add, he is not. But Smoak is a decent gamble with some nice power upside.
Justin Smoak getting on base frequently against Orioles
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (5/2/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak went 1 for 3 with two walks Wednesday against the Orioles, getting on base three times for the second consecutive game. For the series, Smoak is 5 for 10 with three walks and three doubles.
Smoak has lifted his batting average to .240 with the impressive three-game stretch.
Justin Smoak hits first home run of 2013
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (4/24/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak homered for the first time this season Wednesday against the Astros. He also walked for the 10th time this year, giving him a .228/.322/.291 line in 90 plate appearances.
Smoak faced nothing but righties Wednesday but has yet to solve lefties this season, hitting just .130/.231/.130 in 26 plate appearances against southpaws in 2013.
Justin Smoak continues slow progression
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak matched a season-high two hits Monday at Houston. Smoak, who finished 2 for 3 with one run, also managed his second double and fourth RBI.
After batting .156 through his first 10 games, Smoak is batting .250 (10 for 40) with a .333 on-base percentage, one RBI, two doubles, four walks, four runs and 14 strikeouts in his last 11 games.
Justin Smoak slowly improving offensively
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/17/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak hit safely for a third straight game and for the fifth time in seven appearances Tuesday vs. Detroit. Smoak is batting .240 (6 for 25) with a .321 on-base percentage in his last seven games after opening the season with a .167 average (4 for 24) with a .286 on-base percentage in his first eight games.
Justin Smoak has first multi-RBI game
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/10/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak had his first multi-RBI game of the season Tuesday against the Astros after he singled home Raul Ibanez and Michael Morse in the ninth inning.
Smoak is batting .179 (5 for 28) with no extra-base hits and three RBI in nine games. However, Smoak has five walks and a .303 on-base percentage.
Don't continue to overlook Justin Smoak
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/3/2013) I've been yapping to everyone in ear shot for weeks about Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak being a breakout player in 2013, but alas my voice hasn't carried. Smoak is owned in just 23 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and being started in 8 percent Week 1 (March 31-April 7).
Sure, a quick glance at Smoak's numbers show a .167 average (1 for 6) through two games, which hardly stands out. What does, however, is Smoak's three walks and .444 on-base percentage. His career OBP is .307.
The reason why I'm so high on Smoak is he has revamped his approach at the plate. We saw it late last season and he carried it over into the spring, when he hit .407 with five homers, eight doubles and 15 RBI in 19 games.
Even manager Eric Wedge told The Seattle Times, "(Smoak is) just so much more grounded now. He’s in a much stronger position to hit. He’s in a better balanced position. And because of that, he’s seeing the ball so well."
I still endorse Smoak as a buy-low candidate. If you are looking for help at first base or corner infield, please consider Smoak a player to add.
A fire lit under Justin Smoak?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/24/2013) If you're looking for a Draft Day sleeper at first base, then make sure to put Justin Smoak on your radar.
I know. You probably tuned me out after that statement and probably want to tar and feather me in public. How can I say that about a player with a career .223 average and .377 slugging percentage in 355 MLB games?
Well, after a few years of struggling at the major-league level, I think Smoak has figured out how to hit major-league pitching.
Smoak had quite the finish to the 2012 season. He hit .394 (26 for 66) with five doubles, five homers, 10 RBI, 11 walks and 13 runs in his final 18 games. Not many people noticed because the Mariners were eliminated from playoff contention and the Fantasy football season was well under way.
I probably wouldn't have given it much thought either until taking a look at what Smoak is doing this spring. Through 15 spring games, he's batting .408 (20 for 49) with four homers, seven doubles and 11 RBI, which has started the debate about Smoak's late-season surge not being a fluke.
I'm willing to buy into the Smoak hype because I think he was rushed through the minors and had the added pressure of making a quick impact after he was a key part of the Cliff Lee trade in 2010.
Fantasy owners shouldn't reach for Smoak on Draft Day because he's having a torrid spring after a strong finish last season, but Smoak has emerged as one of my favorite late-round sleepers and there's really more to gain than lose when using a late-round pick on the former 2008 first-round selection.
Smoak homers in opener
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (2/23/2013) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak enjoyed a solid performance in Saturday's Cactus League opener against the Padres. Smoak homered from the left side of the plate in the fifth inning. He finished 1 for 3 with two RBI in an 8-6 victory.
M's confirm Smoak as 1B
(2/18/2013) Mariners manager Eric Wedge reiterated on Monday that Justin Smoak will be the primary first baseman this season. Kendrys Morales, who was acquired from the Angels in the offseason, will see the majority of the time at DH. It would have to be something drastic to change that, Wedge told MLB.com. Wedge added that he has liked what he's seen from Smoak thus far in camp. Technique wise, just the fundamental side of things," Wedge said. "Obviously we knew what he was doing for the last 5-6 weeks last year and we want to see a lot of that. You look at the ball off the bat, how its reacting and carrying. Really all we have to work on right now is batting practice, but bat speed were seeing. There are things we need to see for him to be successful and were seeing those.
Smoak expected to start at 1B
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (1/23/2013) Though the Mariners acquired both Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse this offseason, their plan is to keep Justin Smoak at first base, with Morales playing DH and Morse playing left field. Manager Eric Wedge told the Seattle Times Wednesday he has "every anticipation" Smoak will start at first base.
Smoak brimming with confidence
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (1/21/2013) MLB.com reports Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak is well aware the team added players like Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez in the offseason to compete for at-bats at first base and designated hitter, but the 26-year-old infielder isn't concerned. "I'm excited," Smoak said. "We've got some guys who can hit, and that's what you want. For me, personally, I know if I just play like I should play, I've got nothing to worry about. I know for a fact, this is most confidence I've ever felt going into a season."