Justin Smoak -> Disabled List, Wily Mo Pena -> Seattle, Luke French -> DFA
In his first start back from a thumb injury caused/exacerbated by a bad-hop grounder, Justin Smoak suffered a broken nose and maxilla on a bad-hop grounder. The M’s haven’t given a time table for his return, but the plan seems to be for Mike Carp to take over at 1B, as he did in the Texas series.
Smoak’s spot on the active roster will go to Wily Mo Pena, who’s putting up a remarkable season in AAA. He’s got 4 HRs and an wOBA of over .550 in his short stint in Tacoma, and a wOBA of .499 in over 250 PAs for Reno. His hot start helped get him a call-up with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but they cut him after about 50 plate appearances in which he put up pretty much the most Wily Mo Pena line imaginable: 5 HRs (out of 9 total hits), 19 Ks and 0 walks. This is a limited player, but a fun one. The massive righty should get some work as the DH; we’ll see if they platoon him with a lefty (like Kennedy, though at this point I’d much rather see the 29-year old Pena face righties than Kennedy). Pena gets the start tonight against Boston.
To get Pena on the 40-man roster, the Mariners DFA’d Luke French, who’s having an abysmal season for Tacoma. His tRA is 7.54, his RA is 6.82, and his FIP is a shade over 7. He got shelled by the Iowa Cubs yesterday, giving up 7 runs in 2 1/3 IP. His velocity was never a strong point, but he’s been around 85 MPH this year, but then, he averaged 86 on his FB last year. That’d be a long time to keep pitching with an undiagnosed injury, and he was very successful for Tacoma last year. In any event, the promise he showed in 2009 before and after he was acquired from Detroit hasn’t been in evidence in quite a while.