The Mariners aren’t sure exactly who will start the June 11 game in Baltimore, but they have decided who won’t be starting that day: left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Rowland-Smith allowed 14 hits, gave up 12 runs and did not finish the fifth inning of his start on Friday for the Triple A Tacoma Rainiers.
“He’s going to go down and pitch some more,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “We didn’t put a time frame on it.”
Wakamatsu said he learned from the experience with relief pitcher Brandon Morrow earlier this season with regard to bringing a pitcher back before he had regained his confidence.
The issue with Rowland-Smith is specifically location, Wakamatsu said.
“Trying to make sure that he gets down there and he has the confidence level along with us, that the command is better,” Wakamatsu said. “There’s a reason for 14 hits. It’s not just a bad outing.”
“It’s unfortunate for Denny,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “Just the way these games have gone and the way we’ve been forced to use the bullpen, he hasn’t pitched a whole lot.”
Stark appeared only once since May 25.
Stark has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, missed the 2006 and 2007 seasons and this season is the first time since 2004 he pitched in the major leagues.
“Are you disappointed?” Stark asked rhetorically of the demotion. “Of course you are. Every player that’s in Triple A right now, wants to be in the big leagues or on a big-league roster.”
But he also was able to put the move in perspective.
“I take things in stride,” he said. “I know where I was two years ago. I never knew if I would walk back into a big-league clubhouse. You just hold your head up high and move on, and take each day, and that’s one thing, I’ve been grateful for every day that I got to walk into this clubhouse.
“The fact of everything that I had been through, I walk out of here with my head up high and the one thing that I’ve always taken pride is to leave everything on the field and go out there, and every game give 100 percent. I walk out of here today knowing I did that, and I didn’t give away any outings.”