Smoak placed on 15-day DL with oblique injury

Smoak placed on 15-day DL with oblique injury

MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Justin Smoak was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday as the Mariners created a spot on their 25-man Major League roster for right-hander Jeremy Bonderman.

Bonderman was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and will be the starting pitcher in Sunday's series finale with the Twins, making his first Major League appearance since Oct. 1, 2010 with the Tigers.

Infielder Vinnie Catricala was designated for assignment to make room for Bonderman on the 40-man roster. Catricala, 24, was hitting .253 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 48 games with Double-A Jackson.

Smoak has been out a week since feeling tightness in the oblique muscle in his right side on May 25 against the Rangers. He did pinch-hit on Wednesday against the Padres, so his DL stint will be retroactive to that date and will leave him sidelined until June 14.

Smoak had hoped to return in the next few days, but said the injury hasn't improved on the road trip and the decision was made to give it more time.

"The first couple days were encouraging, thinking it wasn't going to be that long, but then it's just stayed the same," he said. "Left-handed, I just haven't been able to do very much. I don't want to go out there and be a right-handed hitter and a righty comes out on the mound and they have to take me out or have me go up there as a righty. So it's just one of those things where it is what it is. I'll get better and be back soon."

Smoak missed nearly a month with a similar injury in 2009 when with the Rangers' Double-A team and is trying to avoid that long of an absence.

"I'd rather be out a little over a week or whatever than a month," he said. "We've got a lot of season left. I'd rather miss a little time than a lot."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.