A lot happened recently that has a huge influence on this debate, so let’s take a look:
After hitting to the tune of a .328 average with 6 HR, 29 RBI and 30 R over 183 Double-A at bats, the Rangers promoted him to Triple-A, where he has opened going 1-5 with 2 Ks and 2 BBs over his first two games. Still, the fact that we haven’t reached the All-Star Break and the team’s 2008 First Round Draft Pick is already at the highest level of the minor leagues is very telling.
With Chris Davis being demoted yesterday, a whole new question now has to be asked, however. The two are going to be playing side-by-side, as they compete to reach the majors and help the Rangers down the stretch. It had been a foregone conclusion for many that when Davis was sent down (which seemed inevitable), that Smoak would be the one to take his place.
That hasn’t happened yet. Maybe they want to give him a week or two at Triple-A, patching it together in the majors before recalling him. What if he struggles? They aren’t going to bring him up just for the sake of bringing him up, so his performance is obviously going to be vital.
How the other options the team has are performing will also clearly play a role, however. If Hank Blalock and company can hit well, especially with the return of Josh Hamilton, the team is likely to be more patient.
Also, you have to factor in that if Davis can start hitting at Triple-A, he could be the first one recalled, given his experience. Seeing Smoak’s name in the line-up everyday will certainly be a motivating factor for him, one would think. Read more