When I was gathering links for tomorrow's Mug I stumbled across something I thought might be of interest: The Astros have designated Australian lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment.
Rowland-Smith is coming off a disastrous season in Seattle, where he posted a 6.75 ERA in 109.1 innings. Entering the 2010 season he had allowed 26 home runs in three years as a major leaguer. In 2010, he allowed 25.
Prior to last season, though, Rowland-Smith was a pretty effective pitcher. From 2007-09 he posted a 3.62 ERA over 88 outings (27 starts), with decent walk (3.2 per nine innings) and strikeout (6.1/9) rates. His FIPs from those seasons would suggest he overachieved a bit, but not dramatically so: his FIP had never been higher than 2008's 4.53. As I mentioned above, Rowland-Smith was the victim of 25 home runs in 109.1 innings in 2010, and a fair portion of that can likely be attributed to the fact that he allowed home runs on 14% of his fly balls. He had never allowed more than 8.3% of flies to leave the yard as a big leaguer.
Rowland-Smith had relatively short outings with the Astros this spring, never pitching more than three innings and posting a 6.23 ERA over six appearances. With that said, the Brewers could probably have him pitch a simulated game in Arizona this week and have him ready to go 5-6 innings on April 6 if they claimed him.
Being left-handed probably makes Rowland-Smith a relatively poor fit in the Brewer rotation, as he'd probably pitch behind Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson on some occasions. With that said, beggars can't be choosers.
Should the Brewers claim Ryan Rowland-Smith off waivers and make him a candidate for the fifth starter role?
Yes (104 votes)
No (168 votes)
I am undecided, confused and/or lonely. (82 votes)
354 total votes