The Red Sox have an open 40-man roster spot with Alfredo Aceves gone, and Ryan Rowland-Smith's opt-out from his minor-league contract was set for Monday, July 15 -- it all seemed as if Boston would add the left-handed pitcher to keep him from leaving the organization. They don't have to just yet, though, as, due to a June appendectomy, Rowland-Smith and the Red Sox renegotiated the opt-out date, placing it in "early August" according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo.
This leaves the Red Sox with an unused 40-man spot for a couple of weeks, or, at least until Rowland-Smith is back in game shape and able to pitch in games, if they choose to call him up sooner. If they don't bring him to the majors at all, though, given that he's the owner of a 1.03 ERA and 3.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the International League, someone will want to sign the lefty rather than deal with August and the waiver trade process, meaning Rowland-Smith likely won't waste time in the minors any longer than he has to.
Rowland-Smith has a 3.68 career ERA in 93 relief innings, with nearly twice the strikeout rate in those frames compared to his far less effective work as a starting pitcher. The Australian-born Rowland-Smith could be a useful southpaw in the Red Sox bullpen, as, even after adding Matt Thornton in a trade with the White Sox, they're still missing Franklin Morales, and Andrew Miller is out for the year.
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