Out since May 30 with a strained oblique, Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak could be nearing a return to the lineup.
The former Stratford High School star has been taking swings and is nearing a rehab assignment at Class AAA Tacoma.
“Everything felt good,” the switch-hitting Smoak told MLB.com. “I was finally able to let it go a little bit. Right-handed has felt fine. It’s just been left-handed that I’ve been worried about. It’s more just my mind letting it go on that left side. Now we’ll take batting practice in the field and go from there.”
Smoak was batting .240 with three homers and eight runs batted-in when he was placed on the disabled list.
Elsewhere among Lowcountry players in pro baseball Monday
• Matt Wieters (Stratford HS) was 2 for 3 in the Orioles’ rain-delayed 4-3 win over the Angels, and is batting .245.
• After getting his first MLB hit over the weekend, Chris McGuiness (James Island HS, The Citadel) was 0 for 1 on Sunday, lining out to first base in the eighth inning. He’s batting .250 for the Rangers.
In the minors:
• Justin Greene (Stratford HS, Francis Marion) hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, and was 1 for 4 with three RBI for Class AA Mobile. He’s batting .338 with 17 RBI.
• Pitcher Drew Cisco (Wando HS) was rocked in Class A Dayton’s 14-4 loss. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He’s 2-4 with a 4.12 ERA.