SEATTLE -- Ryan Rowland-Smith didn't necessarily get bored in his two months on the disabled list, but the downtime did allow the Mariners left-hander to philosophize about life's ups and downs.
"It obviously wasn't a good thing being out for that long, but it gave me time to reflect on a few things," Rowland-Smith said. "I think I learned a bit from it."
Rowland-Smith has been out since April 11 with left triceps tendinitis, but he'll make what's scheduled to be his final rehabilitation start for Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. He's slated to throw 100 pitches for the Rainiers and then rejoin the Mariners' starting rotation June 11 in Baltimore.
He said Tuesday that his recent reflections had a lot to do with tempering expectations that might have become a bit unrealistic when he exited Spring Training.
"I thought a lot about last year and a lot about Spring Training and how when I came into this season, I had certain feelings about how I had to perform," he said.
"It wasn't really a case of putting pressure on myself, but I was maybe thinking things had to go a certain way. Now I realize that I can't look at it that way. I just have to go out there and be healthy and have fun."
Rowland-Smith said he's been encouraged by the play of the entire team and especially the starting rotation, which has compiled a 2.09 ERA over its past 12 games, lowering the rotation's ERA this season from 4.69 to 4.06, which ranks third in the American League.
"I can't wait to get back in the mix," Rowland-Smith said. "I've felt really good lately and felt like I could jump back in, but obviously have to work back up to it.
"After three or four starts, I should be right where I want to be."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.