Rockford native Jake Smolinski will likely open the baseball season in the minor leagues. He’s been assigned to the AAA Nashville Sounds by the Oakland A’s.
Smolinski got sent down despite posting a .316 batting average this spring with one home run, four doubles and 18 RBIs. That was in 21 games of action.
Smolinski’s challenge of winning a roster spot in the outfield took a hit when the A’s signed veteran outfielders Khris Davis and Chris Coghlan in the offseason.
Last season Smolinski appeared in 41 games with the A’s after a mid-season trade with the Rangers. In those 41 games he hit .226 with five home runs, 20 RBIs.