ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Justin Smoak isn't trying to concern himself with his steadily dropping batting average. Smoak is hitting just .172 in 29 games since being called up, with an on-base percentage of just .297. Most of Smoak's struggles have come against left-handers, as the rookie is hitting .067 with eight strikeouts vs. southpaws.
"He's hitting into some bad luck sometimes, his youth shows up sometimes," Washington said. "I don't think nobody wants to see a batting average of .180 or something. But I think we've got enough guys in that lineup to pick it up until he catches up. "He's a threat every time he's up there." Smoak feels like he's pressing at the plate and is trying to get back to what he does best: working the count and getting on base. "I've been swinging at a lot of pitches out of the zone lately, trying to do too much," Smoak said. "I've just got to slow it down a little bit." But Smoak still understands that struggles and slumps are part of the game. "I've hit a dry spell where I haven't felt great, but it's part of the game," Smoak said. "You've got to do something every day to try and feel the way you want to feel. "Everybody goes through struggles, but it's more magnified up here. It's just part of the game. Hopefully sooner than later things will start falling."