It's a little different looking line-up. A night after hitting a home run in his first at-bat after returning from the disabled list, Justin Smoak is out of the line-up. He doesn't appear to be hurt. With lefty CJ Wilson starting for the Angels tonight, there is this little piece of info to take into consideration ...
So Smoak isn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball against lefties this season. For his career, his splits aren't quite as dramatic.
With Michael Morse unable to play outfield at this time, and Kendrys Morales unable to play first base, manager Eric Wedge is going to have to kind of rotate things to get their bats in the line-up with Smoak.
"We can only get two of those three guys in there with Morse not being able to play outfield and Morales not being able to really play first base yet," Wedge said. "We felt like against a lefty tonight, it was best to get Morales and Morse in there."
Normally Jason Bay is starting in the outfield with a lefty on the mound. However, he's still being bothered by a tight hamstring that he tweaked against the A's on Sunday.
"He's still feeling it," Wedge said. "We weren't able to start him today. I'm not sure if he'll be available or not. It will depend on how his pregame goes. Obviously, you'd like to have him available against a left-hander."
It's also a little odd seeing Josh Hamilton batting seventh. But after going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and hitting into two double plays, it needs to be done. Hamilton's numbers are frightening. It appears the Mariners got very lucky not signing him to a 150 million contract.
Talked with Tom Wilhelmsen a little pregame. It went about as expected for a guy, who has basically been talking only about his failures. He did say he's spent a lot of time working on his curveball. He's trying to find the feel with it as well as getting out over the rubber and finding a better release point. That pitched looked better last night.
Speaking of the bullpen, Stephen Pryor's health is something that is often asked about. Right now, it's difficult to expect Pryor to be a factor any time soon.
"He's doing good," Wedge said. "When we get back, if he continues to improve, we'll get him back on the mound. Then the goal will be to potentially get him to Arizona to do some work. Then go from there. It's just been slow. It's been a tough injury for him. I can't tell you the reason why it's so slow. But I just know with that particular injury and with how big and strong he is, it's been a tough one."
Wedge was asked if Pryor wouldn't be back before the all-star break?
"I'm not going to say that," he said. "But I would say that it's probably farfetched to get back here by then."
Once Pryor is healthy, he's going to have to start his throwing program over. Pryor has been on the disabled list since April 15 and has missed 57 games.