Mariners' Rollins finishing strong in AFL

Mariners' Rollins finishing strong in AFL

SEATTLE -- The Arizona Fall League wraps up play on Thursday, and lefty reliever David Rollins continues his strong finish for the Peoria Javelinas as he looks to enhance his chances of returning to the Mariners' bullpen in 2016.

Last year's Rule 5 Draft pick gave up four hits and two runs in two innings in his AFL debut in October, but since then has allowed just one run on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in 7 2/3 innings over his last eight appearances to lower his ERA to 2.79.

Rollins struck out the side in the seventh in Tuesday's 8-2 loss to Scottsdale.

The 25-year-old Texan was kept on Seattle's 25-man roster after being suspended the first half of last season, posting a 7.56 ERA in 20 appearances in his first Major League action after pitching in Double-A ball for the Astros.

With no Rule 5 protection remaining, he'll need to earn a roster spot to remain in Seattle's bullpen going forward, and he has three Minor League options remaining. Rollins is the No. 26-ranked Mariners prospect as rated by MLBPipeline.com.

In other Winter League news regarding the Mariners:

• First baseman D.J. Peterson, Seattle's No. 3-ranked prospect, went 1-for-4 with a double in Tuesday's AFL action and is hitting .222 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 18 games for Peoria. Shortstop Tyler Smith went 0-for-4 as his average dropped to .247 and outfielder Dario Pizzano -- a late addition to the Peoria squad -- is batting .172 in eight games.

• Left-hander James Paxton is 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA in six starts for Peoria, with eight walks and 22 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. He recorded the win in his last outing -- a 6-5 victory at Salt River on Nov. 11 with two runs and three hits in four innings. Paxton is scheduled to make his last AFL start on Wednesday at Scottsdale.

• Lefty reliever Ryan Horstman saw his AFL scoreless streak finally snapped when he allowed one run on two hits in a 1 1/3-inning stint on Tuesday in Peoria's loss. Horstman, a fourth-round Draft pick out of St. John's in 2013, has missed much of the past two years with injuries and pitched in just 11 games this past year for Class A Clinton, Everett and at the Rookie level. He hadn't allowed a run in 8 1/3 innings in his first eight AFL outings and still owns a tidy 0.93 ERA.

• Veteran lefty Vidal Nuno continues to perform very well for Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he's now 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA in six starts. Nuno has 25 strikeouts and five walks in 38 innings and is tied for the VWL lead in wins and is third in WHIP at 0.97.

• Shortstop Ketel Marte made his Dominican Winter League debut for Gigantes del Cibao last week and has hit safely in four of his first five games, batting .211 (4-for-19) with three runs and two stolen bases.

• Right-hander Osmer Morales, who posted a 4.10 ERA in 43 games for Clinton, continues throwing very well for Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League. The 23-year-old is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings over 11 games, including eight walks and 17 strikeouts while opponents are hitting .161. He's allowed just one earned run in 14 innings over his last seven outings.

• Right-hander Stephen Landazuri is 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA in five starts for Aguilas de Mexicali in the Mexican Winter League, with four walks and 33 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old split last season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, going 3-10 with a 6.18 ERA in 26 starts.

• First baseman-outfielder Kyle Petty has hit .393 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 14 games for the Adelaide Bite in the Australian Baseball League. Petty, 24, batted .255 in 96 games with Class A Advanced Bakersfield last season. Second baseman Jordan Cowan, a 20-year-old out of Kentlake High in Covington, Wash., is hitting .323 in 14 games for Adelaide. He hit .254 in 57 games for Everett.

• The other Mariners prospect in Australia is right-handed reliever Kody Kerski, who has put up a 1.93 ERA with three saves in six appearances for the Bite.The 23-year-old was 4-3 with a 1.80 ERA and eight saves in 40 outings for Clinton last year.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.