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June 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Pregame: Rowland-Smith’s Thursday return in doubt.

The Mariners had penciled in Thursday for Ryan Rowland-Smith’s return to the starting rotation. But after Rowland-Smith allowed 12 runs in a rehab start in AAA Tacoma on Friday night — which the left-hander called the worst of his career — Manager manager Don Wakamatsu might get out the eraser.
“The one thing with him right now is we have to make sure he is ready to pitch Thursday,” Wakamatsu said. “The outing last night obviously was not what we were looking for.”
The Mariners may have Rowland-Smith make one more start in Tacoma instead.
Wakamatsu met with Rowland-Smith early Saturday morning, and Rowland-Smith left the meeting with the impression he would not be pitching Thursday. Rowland-Smith said that the last start is behind him and he feels ready to return to the rotation.
“I’m not going to let one night change the way I feel about where I’ve come from since the beginning of spring training,” he said. “One night doesn’t change anything.”
Wakamatsu said there is a “trust factor” because Rowland Smith has pitched only once this season. He threw 3 1/3 innings in his first start before leaving with the left triceps tenditis that has sidelined him since.
“If there was a little more than outing this year up here, maybe you give him the benefit of the doubt,” Wakamatsu said.
Going into Friday night’s start against Reno, Rowland-Smith had allowed just one run in nine innings in his previous two starts. But in 4 2/3 innings and 98 pitches, Rowland-Smith allowed 12 runs on 14 hits without a strikeout. Because it was a rehab start, the Rainiers left Rowland-Smith in until he got close to 100 pitches.
“What you saw last night is never going to happen again,” Rowland-Smith said. “It’s never happened in my career … It was just one of those things where anything that could have happened happened.”
If Rowland-Smith does not pitch Thursday in Baltimore, Saturday’s starter Jarrod Washburn would be available on full rest. Garrett Olson would also be a possibility.
Pregame notes
-Rob Johnson took a pitch off his foot Saturday that should sideline him at least until Tuesday.
-Roy Corcoran (strained neck) will throw one inning today in Las Vegas.
-Kenji Johjima (broken left big toe) will have X-rays on Tuesday and then will join the team in San Diego on June 16, when he will be able to take batting practice, but there’s still no date for his activation.
-Carlos Silva is “a ways away” from returning, Wakamatsu said.
Minnesota (28-28)
Denard Span CF
Joe Mauer DH
Justin Morneau 1B
Joe Crede 3B
Michael Cuddyer RF
Brendan Harris SS
Mike Redmond C
Delmon Young LF
Alexi Casilla 2B
RHP Nick Blackburn (5-2, 3.50)
Mariners (26-29)
Ichiro RF
Russell Branyan 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Jose Lopez 2B
Ronny Cedeno SS
Endy Chavez LF
Guillermo Quiroz C
Franklin Gutierrez CF
LHP Jarrod Washburn 3-4, 3.22

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan


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