Mariners pluck lefty Rollins from Astros in Rule 5 Draft

Drafted in 2009, '10 by Seattle, hard thrower will have chance to earn 'pen role

Mariners pluck lefty Rollins from Astros in Rule 5 Draft

SAN DIEGO -- David Rollins, a left-hander in the Astros' organization, was selected by the Mariners in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft and general manager Jack Zduriencik said the 24-year-old will be given a shot at winning a job in the bullpen.

Rollins had been selected twice by Seattle in the First-Year Player Draft -- in the 23rd round in 2009 and 46th round in '10 -- but never signed until being selected by the Blue Jays in the 24th round in '11 out of San Jacinto Junior College in Texas.

In four Minor League seasons, Rollins has a 23-16 record with a 3.39 ERA with 343 strikeouts in 358 2/3 innings over 88 games, including 64 starts. He was 3-4 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 games (12 starts) with the Astros' Double-A Corpus Christi club last season.

"He's got a pretty good fastball, a 94-95 mph arm," Zduriencik said. "He's got a breaking ball, he's got velocity, he's a tough kid and we have history with him. We'll give him a chance to come in and see what happens. It's another strong arm and from the left-hand side."

The lefty quotient is key as the Mariners are already well stocked with right-handed power arms in their bullpen. Rule 5 Draft picks must spend the entire season on the 25-man roster or be offered back to the club from which they were selected, so Rollins would have to earn a spot in a relief crew that has southpaws Charlie Furbush and Lucas Luetge returning.

The Mariners also claimed lefty reliever Edgar Olmos from the Marlins last month and he's also on the 40-man roster.

"Our thought was this is a good arm and when you look at our bullpen, we've got a lot of good arms," Zduriencik said. "When you think of the chances of a guy sticking as a Rule 5, your odds of a pitcher sticking are a little better than a position guy and a left-hander increases the odds a little. We'll see. He's coming in to a bullpen that's pretty good, but they'll go and compete and we'll see what happens in Spring Training."

Rollins was the 12th player selected in the Major League phase of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. The Mariners didn't make any selections in the Minor League portion of the Draft and didn't lose any players in either phase.

The addition of Rollins fills out the Mariners' 40-man roster.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.