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July 18, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Mariners-Angels lineups, notes, Sunday, July 18

Mariners
Ichiro RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 3B
MIlton Bradley DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Ryan Langerhans LF
Rob Johnson C
Josh Wilson SS
LHP Jason Vargas (6-4, 3.09)
Angels
Erick Aybar SS
Howard Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter CF
Juan Rivera RF
Hideki Matsui LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Kevin Frandsen 3B
Jeff Mathis C
RHP Ervin Santana (8-7, 3.76)
Russ Branyan (left toe) and Michael Saunders (jammed middle finger) both remain out of action. Branyan could be available to pinch-hit today, while Saunders can pinch-run. Both will be re-evaluated when the team returns home to begin a series with the White Sox Monday at Safeco Field.
Mike Sweeney had three hits, including a double, and advanced on a ball in the dirt, in his first rehab game for Tacoma on Saturday. He’ll DH for the Rainiers again today.
Wakamatsu gave a vote of confidence to struggling pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, who is 1-9 with a 6.18 ERA after another tough outing yesterday. Wakamatsu indicated Rowland-Smith will remain in the rotation.


Here’s what Wakamatsu said about Rowland-Smith:
“This guy is a big part of our future. He’s had a tough year, but without the results, you still see some improvement. He’s got a ways to go to be consistent, but he’s pitched well enough in the past. He’s making some adjustments both physically and mentally right now, and that’s always tough on a young pitcher. We plan on pitching him.
“Within his mechanics, you see some improvement. You see some better quality pitches. I think he’s going to have to continue to move in that direction to get the consistency we want. I still believe in him. I think he has a chance to be an awfully good pitcher in the major leagues. Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward.
“It hasn’t been pretty for him. He has to get back on the horse and regain the confidence he had last year. I think he said last year, to be sent down and try to fix some things, and come back, he didn’t feel a lot of pressure. He felt he could go out there and pitch and not worry about some things. Similar to our ballclub, he came in with high expectations, and failed early, and it snowballed. We still have quite a few starts with him. How do we continue to improve to build for next year even, and salvage this year for him?”
That goes for the entire team, Wakamatsu said.
“We’re working as hard as we ever have. Sometimes, you have to get to that saturation point before you make some adjustments. Players are that way sometimes, because they’re out there trying to compete on a daily basis. They always feel like maybe one swing away.
“Look at (Franklin) Gutierrez right now. We’ve had a lot of dialogue with him, saying what you did last year was about as good as you could with that swing. Now you’re getting exposed to some scouting reports that find different holes, and you have to make adjustments. He is starting to make some adjustments. I think everyone is right now. We’re not going to just sit here idle and hope and pray we’ll get better.”

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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