Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners Starter TBA - That's Code For Ryan Rowland-Smith

Excuse Tampa's staff for wondering just who is starting against them Saturday in Safeco Field - the Seattle Mariners are listing that game starter as TBA.

That's code, of course, for NOT Miguel Batista.

It's Batista's spot in the rotation, but it now belongs to someone in Tacoma, lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith. Formally, the Mariners can't list him yet because he's not on the 25-man roster.

Whether Rowland-Smith gets the rest of Batista's starts or not is a thornier question. Clearly, Rowland-Smith looks to be a bigger part of Seattle's future than Batista, who has a year left on his contract.

In the past, however, the Mariners have started pitchers just to showcase them in hopes that a few good games will make a trade easier.

Batista can and will pitch out of the bullpen. Rowland-Smith will be given the chance to fail or succeed for at least 3-4 starts, and by then there will be other options.

The team isn't likely to start Rowland-Smith, Brandon Morrow and, say, Ryan Feierabend in any one stretch, but Seattle wants to see something from each.

For now, it's Rowland-Smith.

By September, the rotation could be unrecognizeable.