Sep 6, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) hits a 2-RBI double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the 8th inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Tampa Bay 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners' Justin Smoak - 1B is 'mine to lose'

Jack Zduriencik signed two big names that have played first base, but Justin Smoak has apparently been told that he’s still the front runner to begin the season at the 3-spot.

Smoak went on the air with MLB Network Radio’s Inside Pitch and was asked if he had had any conversations with the general manager or skipper Lloyd McClendon about whether he would be the first baseman or not. Smoak said that he had been told that the starting job at first base is his to lose.

In the off season, Zduriencik signed free agent Corey Hart and acquired Logan Morrison from the Marlins. Both have playing time at first base; Hart has logged 105 games, while Morrison has played 101 games. Morrison and Hart also have far more experience in the outfield and could see the majority of their games played there.

Smoak has never really lived up to his potential since coming from Texas. He has hit .230/.313/.391 in four years with Seattle. He had a great first half in 2013, but tailed off after the All-Star break, hitting only .184 in September.

Tags: Seattle Mariners

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