Wednesday, November 27, 2013

David Rollins: Interview with Astros Southpaw

By Zachary Morgan |

Follow us on Twitter at @HoustonBias and @AstrosBias

     Astros farm-hand David Rollins was nice enough to hold an interview with us recently. Rollins is one of the more intriguing arms in the system, and isn't getting as much hype as he warrants. The lefty acquired from Canada in the 10 player deal in 2012 involving JA Happ, Brandon Lyon, and David Carpenter, can flat out deal. Rollies' numbers speak for themselves, he has to his name a 3.27 ERA in 280 professional innings of work, with a BB/9 under 3, a WHIP of 1.18, and a K/9 at 8.5. The basic advanced metrics have nice things to say of the lefty as well, as he owns a FIP that never far deviates from his face value numbers, and he maintains a LOB% that remains north of 70 for a fairly prolonged period. Rollins possesses an arsenal that consists of a 2 and 4 seam fastball, slider, circle change, and a hook. The fastball is a serviceable major league one, sitting anywhere from 89-92 comfortably with reported good life and bite to it. Rollins considers his change to be his best offering, and it's a pitch that will service him well moving forward. David will likely start his 2014 season at Corpus, but has a good shot at breaking the OKC roster out of Spring Training given his polish. Below is our conversation...

HoustonBias: First off, we appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk with us. You’re actually the first wrong-hander we’ve interviewed, so you’re a trailblazer of sorts.
David Rollins: Hey man not a problem at all. Funny because to us "lefties", y'all are the wrong handers haha.

HB: What does your arsenal consist of, and are you looking to experiment with anything this upcoming season?
DR: My arsenal consists of a 4 seam, 2seam, slider, and a change up. I will be working on a cutter and also a curveball this offseason.

HB:  How’s the offseason treating you? What are you doing to stay busy?
DR: My offseason is going well. I tend to stay busy with baseball camps, lessons, call of duty, and when I can sit in my deer stand.

HB: From our encounters on Twitter, it’s clear you’re an avid hunter (Thank the good Lord it’s deer season). Have you gotten anything yet, and what’s the biggest whitetail you’ve ever shot?
DR: Yes i love to hunt. Definitely my time killer when i'm not in the gym with my trainer "Megatron" lol. I don't get to go very much because i do my training in Dallas. I have shot an 125lbs hog so far. Biggest deer I've shot was a 6 point haha, lame I know, but its all I've seen since I've been hunting.

HB: What are your passions outside of baseball?
DR: My passions outside of baseball are helping kids. Nothing like seeing a kids face brighten up when somebody tells them what I do for a living.

HB: First ML at-bat...Swinging out of your shoes to prove to the world that pitchers are indeed athletes? Or just looking to poke something?
DR: Oh you already know i'm coming out of my shoes. It helps I hit in high school and some in college my freshman year.
(^^^^^^^^^^YES! Right answer)

HB: If you weren't making hitters look silly for a living, what would you be doing?
DR: I would be coaching baseball no doubt about that. I love working with the kids.

HB: Is there anything in particular you've been working on with the coaches in the Astros organization since your move from Toronto?
DR:  There has been a few things I've worked on with coaches. Change-ups, mechanics, etc.

HB: If you could take a pitch from anyone in pro-ball, what pitch would it be and from whom?
DR:  Luis Cruz, his curveball is dirty.

HB: What do your superstitions consist of?
DR: I wear the same socks when i pitch well, if i don't I use different ones.

HB: Do the Astros have you on any particular workout and throwing regimen this off-season?
DR: Just the usual stuff. Arm strength, long toss, and stay healthy and be ready for the season when it gets that time.

HB: What pitcher would you rather model your game after, Randy Johnson or Tom Glavine?
DR: Randy Johnson. The man can pitch.

HB: Who has the strangest pre-game rituals that you’ve played with in pro-ball thus far?
DR: Tommy Shirley, no doubt about that.

HB: What’s the story on getting drafted four times?
DR: Haha that is funny you ask. I get that alot. I just wasn't ready to go. Didn't feel like I was mature enough to go and play ball yet.

HB: If you could play catch with literally any historical figure, who would it be and why?
DR:  Nolan Ryan. He is one of the all time greats in baseball.

HB: What was it like getting a taste at AAA ball with your spot start in Oklahoma City this year?
DR: Going To OKC and getting to pitch was awesome. The atmosphere was great, the fans were unbelievable, and just being there was an awesome experience.

HB: Considering you grew up in Carthage, Texas, how excited were you to hear that you were on your way back to the Lone Star state upon being traded by the Blue Jays?
DR: It was pretty awesome knowing that I would be coming fairly close to home. Now all my family and friends always say when you play close we will be there, and its an awesome feeling knowing that they are there and supporting me while i'm pursuing my dream.

HB: Were there any philosophical differences when it comes to mechanics, approach, and other nuances of pitching between the Toronto and Astros organizations?
DR: None haha, they are all the same. Pound down haha.

HB: What’s the most embarrassing, guilty pleasure on your iPod?
DR: Hahaha i would have to say Call me maybe is the most embarrassing song on my ipod, but it's such a great tune.
(^^^^Lol, agree to disagree on the great tune part, but duly noted.)

Once again, thanks to David for taking time out of his day to talk to us. Everybody give the future Astros hurler a follow on Twitter at @rawdeezy14.


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