Rollins takes setback in stride
SEATTLE -- For David Rollins, the second time wasn't the charm. But Seattle's Rule 5 Draft pick hopes to grow from the rugged experience of giving up seven hits and four runs in a critical sixth- and seventh-inning stretch of the Mariners' 12-5 loss to the Tigers in his Safeco Field debut on Monday night.
Rollins threw a perfect inning of relief in his Major League debut on Saturday in Oakland, the first day he joined the Mariners after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a steroid after being acquired from the Astros over the winter in the Rule 5 process.
The euphoria of that debut went out the window in a hurry when the Tigers jumped on him after he replaced fellow rookie Mayckol Guaipe in the sixth when the Mariners went to their bullpen after Hisashi Iwakuma allowed four home runs in his first game off the disabled list.
Rollins, 25, never pitched above Double-A ball last year with the Astros, but he was outstanding this spring for the Mariners and pitched 9 1/3 scoreless innings in seven appearances with Triple-A Tacoma the past few weeks before coming off his suspension.
So, yeah, there will be a learning curve, and pitching in the Minors is a little different than pitching in front of 22,580 fans on a Monday night in the Majors.
"I still tried to keep my composure after giving up a few hits and runs," Rollins said. "I still tried to attack guys. I just made mistakes. But it was a great atmosphere. This is the first time I've been in something like this. I felt like, as long as I kept my composure, I'll move on from it."
The biggest thing he took from his rough night at the new office?
"When you leave stuff at the knees or above that, they're going to hit it," he said. "Those were bad pitches on my part. I feel like this is a good lesson learned. I'm just going to take it with me and keep going. Like Nelson [Cruz] just told me, tomorrow is a new day."
Bench coach Trent Jewett, filling in for manager Lloyd McClendon while he attends his sister's funeral, said Rollins didn't have the same command as he did in his debut.
"I think he got behind in the count and put himself in fastball situations and suffered the consequences," said Jewett. "I think he was probably a little strong up and didn't have the slider he was looking for as an option when he was behind in the count. But he seemed poised. I know it didn't go his way and the results weren't good, but I didn't feel like it was a poise issue. I think he felt like he could get it done. He didn't, but we'll see what happens next time."