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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - Page updated at 10:30 p.m.
Justin Smoak demoted to AAA Tacoma
By Geoff Baker
Seattle Times staff reporter
A day of change continued for the Mariners late Monday night when first baseman Justin Smoak was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma after his team's latest defeat.
Smoak was summoned to a closed-door, postgame meeting with manager Eric Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik and told the news. The 25-year-old had just gone hitless again and is mired in an 0-for-19 slump with nine strikeouts.
"I think everybody's seen what's been going on," Smoak said. "It's just one of those things where you go down there, get your work in and I get back to where I was a couple of months ago.
"It's a matter of just getting that feel and finding something day-in and day-out that gets you to where you want to be."
The Mariners will promote Mike Carp from Tacoma on Tuesday. Carp will likely get the bulk of time at first base, though the team has worked out John Jaso and Jesus Montero there as well.
"Hey, this is for him," Wedge said of Smoak's demotion. "This is what we feel like is the right thing to do for him right now to give him a break, to give him a different environment without the pressure of the big leagues.
"To where he can go down there and work to get on track, to find it. And to find it with some consistency."
Smoak's average has plummeted to .189 with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .573. He has 13 homers, but just six doubles.
"You never want to get sent down," Smoak said. "I mean, c'mon. You know what I mean? So, you're definitely not happy. But it's something you've got to go through sometimes to get to where you want to be."
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