SEATTLE - AUGUST 12: First baseman Justin Smoak #17 of the Seattle Mariners is tended to after being hit in the face with a ground ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field on August 12, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Friday night, in a game against the Red Sox, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak prepared to field a groundball off the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The ball took a funny bounce, though, striking Smoak in the face. Smoak went down and had to be removed, and on Saturday, the Mariners have placed him on the disabled list:
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak, who took a bad-hop ground ball off his face on Friday night, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, and the team selected veteran Wily Mo Pena from Triple-A Tacoma to take his place on the 25-man roster.
Smoak sustained a broken nose and a cheek bone fracture, and doesn't yet have a timeline for a return. As it happens, Friday was his first game back in the lineup after missing a few days with a thumb injury. He also sustained a different thumb injury several weeks ago, so between the injuries and a batting slump, it has not been an easy few months for Justin Smoak.
While Smoak is out, Mike Carp will get most of the time at first base. And, of course, there's the Wily Mo Pena angle. Pena is taking Smoak's roster spot and will serve as a part-time DH. The 29-year-old owns a 1.152 OPS in triple-A, and a 1.090 OPS since joining Tacoma.