SEATTLE -- First baseman Justin Smoak went 1-for-3 with a walk on Tuesday in his return to Triple-A Tacoma, but Mariners manager Eric Wedge said the most important thing for the youngster is that he's jumped immediately into his work after getting demoted following Monday night's 4-1 loss to the Yankees.
Major League players have three days to report to the Minors when they are sent down, but Smoak didn't want to wait.
"I didn't tell him to report there yesterday; he chose to go down there," said Wedge. "I told him they were playing at home. That's all I said. I even talked to [manager Darren Brown] about that: 'You let me know if he shows up or not, and if not, I get that.' I would have been fine with that, too.
"Nothing wrong with taking a break. But it didn't surprise me he showed up there. He was the first one there and got it going."
Smoak was hitting .189 at the time of his demotion, with 38 RBIs and a team-high 13 home runs. Wedge just wants to see him regain his batting stroke and confidence.
"For me, it's not about performance early on," Wedge said. "Whether he struck out three times or hit three home runs last night, that's not the most important thing. The most important thing is he's down there, he's working and he's going to work. He's a worker. The intangibles are there. He's a tough kid. That's why I've got every reason to believe this guy is going to be in the middle of all this."