Ryan Rowland-Smith met with manager Don Wakamatsu and pitching coach Rick Adair for about 20 minutes before Wakamatsu met with the local media. Obviously they were discussing Rowland-Smith's outing last night in Tacoma - which he called "the worst" of his professional career.
I was there for it. You can read the game story here.
The numbers weren't good -- 12 runs, 14 hits, three walks, a hit batter and no strikeouts.
Well there could be repercussions for Rowland-Smith because of the outing, meaning he might not pitch on Thursday in Baltimore.
"We're going to make a decision on that," Wakamatsu said. "The one thing with him right now is that we have to make sure this guy is ready to pitch on Thursday. The outing last night was obviously not what we were looking for."
Wakamatsu is going to talk with Rainiers manager Daren Brown, Rainiers pitching coach Dwight Bernard, GM Jack Zduriencik and also consult with Adair before making a decision.
"You have to judge that outing, is it safer to say go down and get another start," Wakamatsu said. "We want to make sure we make the right decision. It's not always about the numbers. Is there an angle to it? Were they softly hit balls? We have to find that out."
Well, since I was there, I will tell you it was a mixture of things. RRS's command wasn't great. He fell behind a few times and got punished for it. But take for example the first inning where he gave up two runs on four straight hits to start the game. All four of those hits were groundballs that weren't hit very hard and got through. To be fair, the Rainiers - with six first baseman on the roster - aren't exactly rolling out the best defensive line-up.
In the third, where he gave up a couple runs, there were a few balls hit to the gap. One of them Michael Saunders was about an inch away from making a spectacular catch. The other a triple to right-center was also aided by the fact that Brad Nelson - a first baseman normally and not exactly the fleetest of foot - was playing right field.
In the fifth when things got completely out of hand, Rowland-Smith loaded the bases, got an out and then barely hit a batter with bases loaded (scraped the guys jersey). He gave up a well hit double, but left with the bases loaded and Jared Wells served up a double to clear the bases.
As I wrote in my story, those numbers would have never got so out of hand but they left him in simply for the fact that he had to get his pitches in, which Brown reaffirmed after the game.
Have I seen RRS pitch better? Definitely. His curveball was ok, but his fastball location wasn't good enough to set up the breaking ball or the change-up. He's not an overpowering pitcher and location and command are a necessity for him to be successful.
If I had one concern it was his velocity. His fastball sat consistently in the 85 to 86 range (this from the Rainiers' team gun not the stadium gun) and he topped out at 88. We saw a little of this in spring training as well where his velocity had dipped. Last season Rowland-Smith's fastball usually averaged around 88 and topped out and 91-92. It may not seem like a big difference but it is.
Obviously, he hasn't thrown enough this season because of the injury to perhaps build up the arm strength and the velocity. But the velocity makes a difference in getting outs.
And that's the concern for Wakamatsu: Can Rowland-Smith get outs if they send him out there? And since he's only pitched once this season before getting hurt there really isn't a body of work to call on for Wak to find that "trust factor."
"If there was a little more than one outing you might give him the benefit of the doubt," he said. "We accomplished the one thing and that is getting his pitch count up."
Here's the line-up for the Mariners ... a few notes Rob Johnson is badly beat up. He took a ball of the instep of his foot and inflamed the tendon in there. Wakamatsu said it isn't bad enough to DL him yet, but he may miss a few days.
Russell Branyan 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Jose Lopez 2B
Ronny Cedeno SS
Endy Chavez LF
Guillemro Quiroz C
Franklin Gutierrez CF
LHP Jarrod Washburn