The Seattle Mariners appear to be in the market for a first baseman with the word coming after Monday’s game that Mike Carp is likely headed to the disabled list.
Carp had to leave Sunday’s game in Anaheim after stretching to catch a throw at first base, and he wasn’t able to start Monday at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Instead, he was being checked out by team medics.
Carp said Sunday that he felt “something pop” in his hip, and an examination of the hip Monday confirmed, in the words of manager Eric Wedge “he does having something going on there.”
It’s possible that Carp, currently the only first baseman on the roster, could be ready to play in just a few days, but the Mariners don’t want him in the outfield because of the shoulder problems that have landed him on the disabled list twice previously this season. And now they don’t want him at first base because the stretching he’s likely to be asked to do could bring about a re-injury.
“There’s a pretty good chance we’re going to have to put him on the disabled list because of the position he plays,” Wedge said.
There are no other experienced first basemen on the current roster. Dustin Ackley, who started there Monday, was making just his fifth start at first this year. He went 0-for-4 in Seattle’s 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
Justin Smoak, who began the season as the regular first baseman, was demoted to Class AAA Tacoma on July 24 after being in a season-long slump. He has hit .242 with no homers in 20 games with Tacoma, but he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the middle of Monday’s game, one indication that he might be heading back to Seattle.
“There’s a chance it could be Smoak,” Wedge said. “We’ll have to sit and talk about it. He’s been working hard down there.”
With Smoak struggling to hit for average in the Pacific Coast League, there’s at least a chance someone else could be called up and Ackley or catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero, who has been taking grounders at first base for a few months now, could get regular work at first.