SEATTLE -- Things just haven't gone Justin Smoak's way this season.
After going injury-free for his entire career, Smoak has injured his left thumb, right thumb and nose all this season. During Wednesday's 2-1 win over New York, the injury bug was back.
Smoak left the game after the third inning due to a mild right groin strain. He was held out of Friday's series opener against Texas and is day to day.
"I know he's frustrated about not playing today and we all want him in there," manager Eric Wedge said. "But it is what it is. You got to listen to your body and hopefully we'll get him back in there tomorrow or the next day."
After enjoying some success at the plate earlier this season, Smoak began struggling and hit .226 in June and just .141 in July. Then, due to several injuries, he had just six at-bats in August.
But the 24-year-old first baseman has bounced back nicely this month. He's hitting .326 (14-for-43) with two homers and six RBIs and appears to be finishing off the 2011 season on a bright note.
Vuckovich hired as special assistant to GM
SEATTLE -- From playing in the big leagues to appearing in the movie "Major League," Pete Vuckovich has certainly been around the baseball block. Now, he'll add a Mariners front-office job to his resume.
Vuckovich has been hired to be special assistant to the general manager, the team announced Friday.
"Pete is one of the brightest baseball minds I have worked with. He has had success both on the field and working in the front office," general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. "His knowledge and diverse experience will be an asset to our organization. I am looking forward to working closely with him."
Vuckovich pitched 11 seasons in the Major Leagues and won the 1982 American League Cy Young Award. He retired in 1993, but has remained in baseball ever since.
The 58-year-old has worked as a special assistant to the GM, assistant GM/director of player personnel, Major League pitching coach, Minor League pitching coordinator and TV color commentator. His last position was with Pittsburgh, where he acted as special assistant to the GM for the past 10 years.
Vuckovich also portrayed New York Yankees first baseman Clu Haywood in the 1989 movie "Major League."
Chone Figgins is almost ready to return. The third baseman jogged around the bases again on Friday and manager Eric Wedge says Figgins' health is as good as ever.
"He's pretty much back to doing everything," Wedge said. "We'll talk to him today or tomorrow and we'll see where he's at."
Steve Delabar recorded his first Major League win on Wednesday, becoming the seventh Mariners pitcher to do so. That ties a franchise record that was set in 2004. The Major League record is 11, set by the St. Louis Browns in 1915.
Over the last 10 games, the Mariners' bullpen has a 1.40 ERA with 21 strikeouts.
Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.