Seattle Mariners’ Spring Battles: Second Southpaw Reliever

3 of 5

Feb 26, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher David Rollins poses for a portrait during photo day at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Underdog: David Rollins

David Rollins is another unheralded lefty who has really turned some heads early in spring training. Rollins has made three appearances for the M’s this month, and he has pitched three shutout innings. The 25-year-old has allowed two hits, but has yet to walk anyone. Rollins gets some zip on his fastball, and has recorded two strikeouts.

Originally a 24th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays, David Rollins has spent the last two seasons in the Houston Astros Organization. Rollins played the entire 2014 season with the Astros Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi. The Dallas, TX product went 3-4 with a 3.81 ERA across 78.0 innings with the Hooks last season. He is considered a strikeout pitcher, and last season he averaged 8.9 punch outs per 9 innings. Rollins does a nice job throwing strikes, and he issued just 2.5 free passes per 9 innings in 2014.

David Rollins has officially been drafted on three separate occasions by the Seattle Mariners. The first time was when they selected him in the 24th round out of high school in 2009, however the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. The following year the M’s stole Rollins in the 47th round, but again the two sides could not come together. The past offseason the Mariners finally got their man, picking Rollins in the rule 5 draft from the Houston Astros. Since Rollins is a rule 5 pick, he has to remain on Seattle’s 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2015 season, or else he is returned to the Astros.

The Mariners are giving David Rollins another opportunity to strut his stuff on Thursday afternoon against the A’s. The M’s seem to like Rollins, and his rule 5 status works in his favor. I would not be the least bit surprised if he is the second southpaw in the Mariners’ bullpen on opening day.

Next: Has Jamaal Charles Lost a Step?