David Rollins, a strong candidate for a bullpen job with the Mariners, has instead been suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Rollins was a Rule V pick from the Houston Astros the past winter and had been getting a long look as the second lefty out of Seattle’s bullpen.
“My positive test was the result of a serious error in judgment,” said Rollins in a statement released by the players union. “I know I have disappointed my many supporters; and my sincerest apologies go out to everyone associated with the game of baseball, especially the Seattle Mariners organization, my teammates and the fans.
“I am truly grateful for the opportunity the Mariners have given me and never again want to compromise this trust. From the bottom of my heart, I deeply regret this mistake and give you my word it will never happen again.”
Rollins had decent results. In seven spring training innings, he allowed one earned run and struck out seven. Had Rollins not made the club’s 25-man major league roster, the Mariners would have had to return him to the Astros. But as a Rule V pick, he seemed almost certain to make he jump from AA to the majors.
Now that’s moot.
“The Seattle Mariners are disappointed that David Rollins has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Join Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” GM Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. “Our organization fully supports the program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game.
“Having spoken at length with David, I know that he is truly remorseful for his error in judgment. We will continue to work with him to get past this situation.”
MLB said that the 25-year-old Rollins tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid commonly used by body-builders.
It is not clear how the suspension will affect Rollins’ status with the Mariners. Since his suspension prevents him from making the 25-man roster, MLB will decide whether Rollins returns to Houston or remains with the Mariners.