After giving up 11 runs last night, Ryan Rowland-Smith placed on DL rather than waiver wire

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Last night Ryan Rowland-Smith became the eighth pitcher to allow double-digit earned runs in a game this season, coughing up 11 runs in a blowout loss to the White Sox.
Rowland-Smith was down 4-0 after one inning, 7-0 after two innings, and 8-0 after three innings, yet the Mariners left him out there to complete five frames in an effort to save the bullpen. And now Rowland-Smith has been placed on the disabled list with a “lower back strain.”
After the ugly outing manager Don Wakamatsu said he’d have to talk to general manager Jack Zduriencik to “make a decision” regarding Rowland-Smith’s future, because at 1-10 with a 6.96 ERA he certainly didn’t deserve to remain in the Mariners’ rotation and the 27-year-old left-hander is out of minor-league options.
Sending him to the DL is a way to avoid potentially losing him on waivers, at least temporarily, and even with his horrendous work this season Rowland-Smith still has a 4.56 ERA in 352 career innings. Like me, Rob Neyer of ESPN.com wonders about the validity of the injury given the timing of the whole thing.

Rene Rivera out 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery

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Angels catcher Rene Rivera will be sidelined for up to six weeks, the club announced Friday. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation last Sunday and underwent surgery for a torn meniscus.

Rivera, 34, signed on as a backup catcher to the Angels’ Martin Maldonado back in January. Since then, he’s slashed a healthy .259/.322/.481 with six extra-base hits and an .804 OPS in 59 plate appearances this spring. While manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t anticipate any complications with the veteran catcher’s recovery process, the team will have to wait and see whether he can maintain that kind of consistent production upon his return this summer.

In the interim, rookie backstop Jose Briceno is expected to shoulder Rivera’s workload. The 25-year-old is working through his second year in the Angels’ organization and currently batting .261/.272/.500 with six home runs in 92 PA for Triple-A Salt Lake. He’s likely to make his big league debut sometime in the next week.