The Seattle Mariners have decided to make left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith a starting pitcher, but they're going to do it in Class AAA Tacoma.
Making room for J.J.Putz on the 25-man roster Sunday, the team sent Rowland-Smith to Tacoma, where the reliever-spot starter will begin working out of the Rainiers rotation. How soon will he be back – that depends upon Miguel Batista.
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For now, Batista stays in the Seattle rotation.
"We need a starter down there who's ready to come up and help us," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Ryan threw 75 pitches (Saturday), so stretching him out to 90-95 pitches won't take long.
"I think we'll see him before September."
In two starts with Seattle – without being stretched out – Rowland-Smith went 8 2/3 innings and didn't get a decision. What he did was impress the team enough to want him to start again.