The Seattle Mariners need another bat. Was there a new bat in the lineup on Friday night? Yes, there was. Unfortunately, it was Justin Smoak as Michael Saunders heads back to the DL. Not exactly a good swap.
Are you excited? Justin Smoak is back. And there was much rejoicing.
Can someone help me out here? I appear to be missing something. Why is this guy still in the lineup? He arrived in Seattle, went 0-for-3 and is now hitting .205 with a .279 on-base percentage. According to FanGraphs, if you have a .290 oBP, you are categorized as “Awful.”
Look, I do feel somewhat bad about critiquing the Smoakamotive. After all, one assumes that he doesn’t try to fail at the plate. The problem is that he isn’t an asset to this team right now. He may never be.
Smoak has historically been a good defender, but the Mariners need consistent baserunners. It might be best to trade a little defense for more hits.
Was Logan Morrison doing that bad? Sure, he’s only hitting .230 and he has an .279 OBP (sound familar?), but shouldn’t the Mariners give LoMo a little more time to prove himself?
Unfortunately, it appears that Michael Saunders might be lost for an extended period of time, which emphasizes the need for offense all the more. Sadly, it seems unlikely the Smoak is going to pick up the slack for the loss of Saunders.
Until the Mariners make a trade, or a hot-hitting prospect comes up from Tacoma, Smoak may remain in the lineup and platoon with Morrison. Maybe Smoak will start to hit, but history suggests that he may have reached his offensive ceiling. After all, Smoak is 27 and a career .225 hitter.
The Smoakamotive is running again. How long it runs is anyone’s guess.