Mariners have hole to fill in rotation

Mariners have hole to fill in rotation

SEATTLE -- With Felix Hernandez going on the 15-day disabled list Monday night, retroactive to June 24, the Mariners could be scrambling to fill the hole in their rotation for a few more days.

Before Monday's game, manager Jim Riggleman named reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith as Tuesday's starter, but Hernandez's move means that the Mariners will need to fill his spot at least once more. That date figures to be this coming Sunday against Detroit.

According to Riggleman, the starter for those future gaps in the rotation will hinge on a number of factors.

"Again it depends on [Miguel] Batista's availability," he said. "So how Ryan does tonight, how Batista is feeling, how quick after the DL stint Hernandez is able to come back, there's just so many variables there."

After starting against the Mets on Wednesday in New York, Batista complained of issues involving his back and rib area.

"He's been feeling better every day," Riggleman said. "I don't know that he's available tonight, but we're hoping tomorrow night he would be available to pitch out of the bullpen. According to Rick Griffin, the trainer, he's pretty encouraged."

Jesse Baumgartner is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.