The Mariners announced earlier this evening that they have activated Justin Smoak from the disabled list. He’ll serve as the designated hitter and bat fifth tonight against the Athletics.
Smoak has been sidelined since suffering a broken nose on a bad hop grounder while playing first base on August 12. He went 0-for-11 with three walks over four games during a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, but the important part is that he is feeling 100 percent. According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the switch-hitter will have a plastic flap covering the left side of his face when he hits right-handed.
Smoak, 21, is batting just .220/.317/.387 with 12 home runs, 44 RBI and a .704 OPS over 410 plate appearances this season, including a .175 batting average and zero homers since the All-Star break.
It’s never fun to break your nose, but the silver lining is that Smoak was given some extra time to rest a thumb injury which was likely affecting his production at the plate. He now has an opportunity to finish the season on a high note.
John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.
Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.
Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.
Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.
All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.
Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.
Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.
St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.