From BR Bullpen
Ryan Benjamin Rowland-Smith
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 205 lb.
- High School Newcastle (NSW) High School
 Biographical Information
Ryan Rowland-Smith made history as he had the first hyphenated surname ever in MLB. Gary Miller-Jones had played five years in AAA in the 1980s, never to make it into a big league game. Rowland-Smith has pitched for Australia in the Olympics, helping them to a Silver Medal.
 2001-2004: Early Career
Rowland-Smith was signed by scout Barry Holland for the Seattle Mariners at age 17. He debuted professionally with the 2001 AZL Mariners, going 1-1 with a 2.97 ERA and five saves. He fanned 39 in 33 1/3 IP. He pitched for the Australian national team in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, allowing two runs in two innings of work. In 2002, Rowland-Smith pitched 12 games (8 starts) for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA. He was then demoted to the Everett AquaSox, where his line read 4-1, 2.77 with two saves in 18 games (six starts). He finished 9th in the Northwest League in ERA.
In 2003, the 20-year-old moved full-time to the bullpen. He made the conversion very well. For Wisconsin, he went 3-0 with a save and 1.11 ERA, allowing a .181 average and fanning 37 in 32 1/3 IP. Moving up to the Inland Empire 66ers, the southpaw was 0-1 with a 3.20 ERA in 15 outings. Opponents batted .181 there as well. He made the Midwest League mid-season All-Star team.
Rowland-Smith was a starter (12 games) and reliever (17 games) for Inland Empire in 2004. He went 5-3 with 3 saves and a 3.79 ERA. He struck out 119 in just 99 2/3 IP. He tied Juan Sandoval for 7th among Mariners minor leaguers in strikeouts. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 5th in the California League in ERA.
 2004: Olympic Stardom
Rowland-Smith pitched for Australia in the 2004 Olympics. On August 17, he pitched the 9th, walking one, to conclude a one-hitter started by Chris Oxspring against the Italian national team. A day later, Rowland-Smith relieved in the sixth after Phil Stockman and Graeme Lloyd fell behind Japan 4-3. Ryan allowed the Japanese squad to load the bases (two hits, one walk) but escaped the inning unscathed. Hits by Brett Roneberg, David Nilsson, Brendan Kingman and Thomas Brice and a Shinya Miyamoto erorr put Australia up 6-4 in the top of the 7th. Jeff Williams tossed three scoreless innings to wrap it up and Rowland-Smith got credit for the victory; Daisuke Miura copped the loss. On June 20, the left-hander was back in the saddle once more. He entered in the sixth against Greece with a surprising 5-3 deficit. Roneberg again started a rally to tie the score then the Aussies pounded on five more in the seventh. Rowland-Smith allowed a home run in the 8th. Overall, it was the only run he allowed in 2 1/3 IP as he again notched a win.
In the Gold Medal game, Ryan relieved with Australia trailing Cuba 6-1 after John Stephens had been hammered. The reliever shut down the international powerhouse, blanking them for three innings on two hits and a walk, fanning two. Australia didn't rally this time, though, depriving Rowland-Smith of his third victory. Australia still had won a Silver Medal.
Overall, Rowland-Smith had gone 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in the 2004 Olympics. He had allowed six hits and five walks in 7 1/3 IP, fanning five. He tied Oxspring for the team lead in wins; only Adiel Palma won more contests in the Olympics that year.
 2005-2006: Injuries
Rowland-Smith was claimed by the Minnesota Twins in the 2004 Rule V Draft but returned to Seattle on March 25, 2005. Assigned to the San Antonio Missions, he went 6-7 with a 4.35 ERA in another swingman role, missing some time due to tendonitis. Rowland-Smith was on the Australian roster for the 2006 World Baseball Classic originally but a left elbow strain sidelined him. He was replaced by Josh Hill and was out until early June. He had a 0-1, 5.68 record for Inland Empire on a rehab stint then was 1-3 with four saves and a 2.83 ERA in 23 contests for the San Antonio Missions, striking out 48 in 41 1/3 IP. He then was with the Peoria Javelinas, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15 innings in the Arizona Fall League as Peoria's most-used reliever (12 games).
 2007: MLB debut
Rowland-Smith began 2007 with the Tacoma Rainiers and went 3-4 with one save and a 3.86 ERA in 24 games, striking out 47 in 39 2/3 IP and allowing a .223 average. When Cha Seung Baek went on the Disabled List in late June, Rowland-Smith was called up to take his spot on the staff.
In his MLB debut, Rowland-Smith relieved Jason Davis in the sixth inning of a 16-1 laugher. He struck out Ken Griffey Jr., the first batter he faced in The Show, making a nice debut as the first player in MLB history with a hyphenated last name. He tossed a scoreless 7th as well, allowing an Adam Dunn single, before leaving the contest in favor of Sean Green.