Justin Smoak is in a profound slump - eight hits in his last 70 at-bats, dropping his season average to .218- and isn't in the Seattle Mariners lineup for a second consecutive game tonight.
That doesn't mean manager Eric Wedge has thrown him to the side.
"I had a good talk with him yesterday. It just gets him away from it a little bit, physically and mentally," Wedge said "Justin just needed a little time away to work on some things
"I've seen him be a little bit better in batting practice, doing the things he needs to be doing to get back to doing some of the things that allow him to be successful. He's going thorugh what he needs to go through to find out just what type of big-league player he's going to be. I think he's going to be a good one."
Smoak will play tomorrow. As for today, against Oakland and RHP Trevor Cahill:
Ichiro RFBrendan Ryan SSDustin Ackley 2BMike Carp DHAdam Kennedy 1BMiguel Olivo CCasper Wells LFChone Figgins 3BFranklin Gutierrez CFBlake Beaven P