Hyphen Time

Dave · July 17, 2009 at 7:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Ryan Rowland-Smith is scheduled to take the mound for the Tacoma Rainiers tonight. Don’t be surprised if he only lasts 3 innings or so – not because I think he’s going to get hammered, but because I have the feeling that he’ll be making his Mariner re-debut next Tuesdsay in Detroit.

RRS has pitched well in each of his last three outings in Triple-A, and quite simply, he’s better than Garrett Olson. With the M’s already five games out of first place, they’re teetering on the verge of non-contention, and they can’t really afford to run out the seventh best starter in the organization while better options linger in Tacoma.

With the desire to get Vargas some more rest and Morrow some development time in the minors, RRS looks to be next on the depth chart to get the call. With the way he’s pitched recently, he’s certainly earned his way back to the big show, and we’ve seen him get major league hitters out the past couple of years. He’s also the kind of pitcher who will benefit significantly from our outfield defense and Safeco Field, so it’s the M’s best interests to get Rowland-Smith back up here and starting every fifth day.

Of course, if the M’s don’t play well this weekend, we could see Vargas, Olson, Rowland-Smith, and Morrow all back in the major league rotation shortly. The M’s simply have to win two of three this weekend. Felix/Washburn/Bedard vs Huff/Ohka/Laffey? This is the kind of series that the team has to use to make up ground. You can lose Cliff Lee vs Garrett Olson. That’s understandable. The next three, though, the M’s are strong favorites. They can’t drop two out of three while the Angels beat up on the A’s if they want to stay in the race.


18 Responses to “Hyphen Time”

  1. mrw88 on July 17th, 2009 8:28 am

    I am happy to see RR-S coming back, but i feel bad for him coming back to the offense we have been putting out there.

  2. Gump on July 17th, 2009 8:42 am

    It will be nice to see RR-S coming back after he sat out the WBC to focus on being a mainstay in the rotation. I finally get to go to a game on 7-24!!! If RR-S is probably slotted there do we know who would pitch on 7-24?

  3. Jay Yencich on July 17th, 2009 8:43 am

    His velocity is still working its way back, but I think 90% of RR-S is still better than 100% of Olson.

    I’d warn that two of his last three outings came against the Portland Beavers, who are hitting .250/.326/.384 as a team, but his best outing was against Salt Lake, and they’ve been one of the better teams in the league. They don’t have Kendrick or Wood anymore, obviously, but Sean Rodriguez can be pretty dangerous.

  4. Wolfman on July 17th, 2009 8:45 am

    One run? I think the hitting is the bigger onus on this team right now. It’s too bad we don’t have some help in the minors in that department right now.

  5. Jay Yencich on July 17th, 2009 8:45 am

    If RR-S is probably slotted there do we know who would pitch on 7-24?

    RR-S is starting tonight, so he’d be up next on the 23rd if the schedule holds.

  6. Gump on July 17th, 2009 8:50 am

    I’m hoping to see Felix but i’m just stoked to go either way being in Spokane I don’t get to normally know who is going to pitch. I wouldn’t get too worried over only getting one run last night. We’ve been consistantly hit and miss with our offense and there was last years Cy young winner on the mound.

  7. Liam on July 17th, 2009 8:51 am

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing when we keep hearing that each series is a must win.

  8. TheMsfan on July 17th, 2009 8:56 am

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing when we keep hearing that each series is a must win.

    Well, its not good for the heart, but it sure is nice to be able to say theyre must wins for a chance to go to the playoffs compared to say….not being laughed off the field.

  9. Willmore2000 on July 17th, 2009 9:17 am

    The next three, though, the M’s are strong favorites.



    Can it really be true?

  10. Juicer on July 17th, 2009 9:43 am

    [deleted, off topic]

  11. robbbbbb on July 17th, 2009 10:29 am

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing when we keep hearing that each series is a must win.

    Good thing. Because otherwise they’d be out of it.

    The M’s have been hanging on the fringes of the playoff race by winning 2 out of every 3 so far this year. They have to keep winning at this clip to stay in it. An extended down streak will put them out of contention.

    Right now, the M’s are 46-43. If we assume that 90 wins the division (which isn’t a terrible assumption), then the M’s need to win 44 of the remaining 73 games to have a decent chance to win the division. That’s a 60% winning clip. So yeah, there’s a lot of must-win series between now and the end of the season.

  12. G-Man on July 17th, 2009 10:34 am

    I thought that RRS was supposed to come back quite awhile ago, but he kept getting pushed back. Is there a health issue that we should worry about going forward, or did he simply not heal as quickly as they’d hoped? Or is it something else?

  13. joser on July 17th, 2009 10:59 am

    I don’t know about his health — he hasn’t missed a start AFAIK — but he kept getting pushed back because of lines like these:
    Jun 05 v REN 4.2 IP, 14 H, 12 ER, 3 BB, 0 K
    Jun 17 @ POR 6.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

    He seems to be getting better, but he had a pretty horrific June. Even that game against Salt Lake is a bit worrisome, as he gave up 7 hits in 7 innings, but he also got 7 Ks. And he did go 7 innings (as he did against Portland in his next start). So I think it was suck, not health, that was keeping him down. Hopefully he’s done with that and can give the M’s some quality starts.

  14. marc w on July 17th, 2009 12:43 pm

    Well joser, I think it’s safe to say that the ‘suck’ and ‘health’ were related.
    His velocity was way down in June (84-86), as it took a lot longer than expected for his elbow to heal. Now that his velocity is back/90% back, the results are starting to match what you’d expect.

  15. ThundaPC on July 17th, 2009 4:04 pm

    Garret Olson will remain in the rotation, per Larry Stone.

    “Right now, we haven’t even talked about it (changing pitchers),” Wakamatsu said. “Obviously it happened yesterday. But I think you get to a point where you have to be able to work through some things and not just vacate on him. We already have some depth, and we have a plan on the guys that are down there already.

    “From our standpoint, we don’t want to create an environment or a feeling that it’s do or die. And granted, we know the trade deadline and we know the situation of everything going on right now, but still we’re trying to stick the plan that’s got us here.

    “Olson’s thrown some good games for us,” Wakamatsu added. “He threw a bad game yesterday. We’ll get him back throwing a bullpen and see if he can go back out and give us another start like he did in LA. (against the Dodgers).”

    Meanwhile, Ryan Rowland-Smith throws tonight for Tacoma and could strengthen his bid to rejoin the rotation.

    “He’s improved just about in every outing he’s thrown down there,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s stretched out. The quality of his breaking stuff has improved, his velocity has gone up.”

  16. bilbo27 on July 18th, 2009 4:10 am

    Nice outing for RRS. 101 pitches, 76 strikes, 7 innings, 9 strikeouts, 0 BB, 6 hits, 2 ER off two solo shots. Not too shabby. He’s looking like he’s ready these last few starts.

  17. joser on July 18th, 2009 9:53 am

    Yeah, he’s almost been matching Felix in terms of innings pitched per start. (Of course doing it in the minors is a little different).

    Am I the only person annoyed that you can look up players by nicknames in B-R but you can’t get to RR-S va “hyphen” (or even “-“). You can look up “Death to Flying Things” but it brings back the two original guys from the nineteenth century, not Gutierrez. Need to work on fixing that too.

  18. NV M's fan on July 18th, 2009 10:28 am

    My son and I saw four innings here in Vegas last night and RRS started strong and struck out the side in the first, faltered just a bit then responded well with later K’s and good velocity on a HOT night. Bring him up.

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