LoMo's strong return bolsters options at 1B

LoMo's strong return bolsters options at 1B

SEATTLE -- Logan Morrison has capably filled the Mariners' first-base spot for the past two weeks while Justin Smoak has been on the disabled list, hitting .273 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 16 games since coming off his own DL stint June 10.

But manager Lloyd McClendon remains in a wait-and-see mode on what will happen once Smoak and fellow first-base candidate Corey Hart rejoin the team once they also get healthy in the next few days.

"He's done a nice job," McClendon said of Morrison prior to Saturday's game with Cleveland. "He's swinging the bat extremely well and has been an important part of our offense. As we move forward, we'll continue to evaluate and see what makes us better. If you're asking me if he's going to play first base over Justin Smoak or Corey Hart, I don't have that answer right now."

Morrison has rebounded after a rough start to the season and nearly two months on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Smoak and Hart are both with Triple-A Tacoma on rehab stints as the Rainiers play at El Paso, Texas, this weekend. Smoak has been out since June 10 with a strained quad, while Hart has been sidelined since May 19 with a strained hamstring. 

"They're getting better," McClendon said. "I think they're both getting anxious. They're both texting me. We'll see."

The Mariners open a three-game series in Houston on Monday, while the Rainiers wrap up a four-game set Sunday in El Paso, making for a logical connection point if they're ready at that time.

"It's a short flight, yeah," McClendon said. "We'll see. I don't have those answers right now."

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.