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April 15, 2009 at 7:08 PM

More on Rowland-Smith injury and other Mariner notes

View a replay of tonight’s Geoff Baker Live! episode in the post prior to this one.
5:13 p.m.: Ryan Rowland-Smith sounded very frustrated after going on the disabled list for the first time in his career with what is being termed “triceps tendinitis.” He is eligible to come off on April 26, and said, “Hopefully after that, I’m good to go.”
The Mariners are optimistic the injury isn’t serious.
“We think it’s strictly muscular, so we don’t think it’s a long-term deal,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “But to be on safe side, we think this is the right move to make at this point.
As Geoff reported, Chris Jakabauskas will fill Rowland-Smith’s spot in the rotation for the time being, including Thursday’s start against the Angels. Asked how long he expected Jakabauskas to be able to go in the game, Wakamatsu replied, “It depends on how easy his innings are. Obviously, we can’t stretch him out to 100. We’ll take it as the game goes along.”
Add Wakamatsu, “He was probably our most consistent pigtcher in spring training. He really impressed us. That’s why he made the club, obviously. Even seeing him pitch up here, looking at his comfort level and pitch quality, he contiunued that. We feel confident he can continue that role.”
Wakamatsu indicated the team will be calling up a reliever to fill Jakabauskas’s spot in the pen. He said that lefties Tyler Johnson, who is building up arm strength at extended spring training, and Cesar Jimenez, who is on the disabled list, are not candidates. Both would need to pitch in the minor leagues before being ready for consideration.
As for Rowland-Smith, who struggled in his 2009 debut in Oakland last week, he said he felt something was wrong after the Mariners’ workout at Safeco Field on Monday. He threw lightly and worked on mechanics with pitching coach Rick Adair.
“Driving home, I felt tired,” he said. “Something didnt feel right. I came the next day and played catch, and it felt like it locked up. It got stiff all of a sudden. I had this massive knot in my forearm. I just don’t have my normal range of motion.”
He said he experience the same phenomenon in 2006 during the Arizona Fall League, “and that passed pretty quick.”
He added, “It’s really frustrating. I made the team and I was happy about that. You really want to pick up where you left off last year. I had that outing where I threw too many pitches. You want to get on a roll, so it’s frustrating. I felt stress out the last couple of days. I’ll use the next few days to reflect on last year, reflect on spring training, just get my mind in a positive place, and go from there.”
In other news, Ichiro was activated and will hit leadoff, as promised.
“He had 20-something at-bats prior to coming back today,” Wakamatsu said. “He played extremely well, lots of triples and doubles. He played the way he normally does. He says he’s 100 percent. We’re extremely excited to have him back. There’s probably no one in the game I respect more as far as preparing to play this game. I know he’ll be ready to play tonight.”
In attendance at tonight’s game is Isao Harimoto, who holds the Japanese career hit record with 3,085. Ichiro is three hits away from surpassing Harimoto in combined hits between Japan and the Mariners, a pursuit that has drawn a large contingent of Japanese media. A few Seattle writers spoke to Harimoto before the game. I’ll have some of his quotes later, and look for an in-depth feature on Mr. Harimoto from Brad Lefton in the Seattle Times very soon.
Also, top prospect Carlos Triunfel underwent surgery today to repair ligament damage in his left ankle and allow his broken fibula to better line up, which should help the healing process, according to a Mariners’ press release. The surgery was performed by Mariners medical director, Dr. Edward Khalfayan, assisted by Dr. Martin Mankey, a foot and ankle specialist.
Triunfel will begin his rehab in Seattle in about two days. He is expected to be able to return to baseball activities in four to six months.

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