Rowland-Smith makes team as 13th pitcher

Rowland-Smith makes team as 13th pitcher

PHOENIX -- The biggest surprise of the final roster moves the D-backs made Saturday was their decision to keep 13 pitchers rather than 12.

That meant that Australian-native Ryan Rowland-Smith made the team as the third left-hander in the bullpen, along with Oliver Perez and Joe Thatcher.

"Thought he threw the ball very well this spring," D-backs GM Kevin Towers said.

The team plans on using Rowland-Smith in long relief, along with right-hander Josh Collmenter.

Having another pitcher who can throw multiple innings in the bullpen became a priority given starter Bronson Arroyo's struggles with a bulging disc this spring and the season-ending injury to ace Patrick Corbin.

The decision to carry 13 pitchers meant that shortstop Didi Gregorius could not make the team in a bench role.

The team is likely to go back to 12 pitchers when outfielder Cody Ross returns from his hip injury, which could be a week to 10 days after the season begins.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.