Mariners Insider Blog

Smoak's average falls to .189, optioned to Triple-A Tacoma

It was a night of more strikeouts (0-for-3, two strikeouts) and looking lost at the plate for Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak, whose next game will not come at Safeco Field.

Immediately following the Mariners' 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night, the Mariners did something they had been considering for a few days - sending the South Carolina native down to Triple-A Tacoma to get some hitting issues ironed out.

Seattle manager Eric Wedge said he, general manager Jack Zduriencik and Smoak met for a few minutes after the game. That is when the fifth-year professional found out he was headed to the minor leagues.

"It's just one of those things you've got to get over," Smoak said. "Now I've got to take care of business there."

Wedge said he could tell Smoak had been pressing at the plate the last few days.

"This (move) is for him," Wedge said. "We feel it's the right thing for him ... to work to get on track."

Mike Carp (shoulder) will return to Seattle on Tuesday. Wedge said Carp, Carlos Peguero and possibly John Jaso or Jesus Montero, who have begun to take grounders, could platoon at first base.

Smoak was in Tacoma last season for four games on injury rehabilitation, but was key in the Rainiers' run to the Pacific Coast League title in 2010, playing 35 games.