Justin Smoak has been sent down to Tacoma, in a move that seems about two months too late. Smoak has been quite bad this year, and despite stretches of significantly improved play, the overall product he’s produced at the plate has been on par with Brendan Ryan.
In Smoak’s place the Mariners have called up Mike Carp. Carp has had a shoulder injury for most of the season and has played sparingly in the field in Tacoma. I’ve recently called for the Mariners to play John Jaso at first base, but tonight at least we’ll see Carp there with Jaso behind the plate and Jesus Montero at the DH spot.
With Ichiro’s trade last night the Mariners also called up Trayvon Robinson. I thought Robinson was certainly worth interest when the Mariners acquired him as part of the trade that sent Eric Bedard to Boston, but Robinson has been pretty strikeout-prone since coming to Seattle. He struck out nearly 40 percent of the time he came to the plate last year in the majors, though he’s dropped his strikeouts to 22.3 percent this year.
With Casper Wells in position to receive most of the playing time vacated by Ichiro, you can probably figure to see Robinson take over for Michael Saunders or Carlos Peguero against tough lefties, and perhaps see some time in Well’s place against tough righties also as Robinson is a switch hitter.