Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rollins tucked away in clubhouse corner

Former Biscuits pitcher Heath Rollins is practically off by himself. His locker is at least 10 feet from the next player and maybe 15 from the one after that. There's a wall that isolates him further.

He's positioned well ... if he were the official greeter for those entering the main door of Tampa Bay's spring training clubhouse, but there's one thing about it -- he's still there.

Rollins is in his first major-league camp and, despite being a non-roster invitee, is still there with a week left.

"I just try not to really think about it," Rollins said.

He's a longshot to break camp with the Rays, but the right-hander has apparently made an impression. Rollins has a 3.87 ERA in 9 1/3 innings with a win and a save.

Rollins spent much of last year with the Biscuits and made a midseason transition from the starting rotation to the bullpen. He was 9-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 22 starts. In six relief appearances, he had a 2.53 ERA and allowed three of seven inherited runners to score.

Rollins ended the season with three appearances at Durham and pitched in the Arizona Fall League. Now, he feels like a reliever rather than someone making a transition.

"I like it. I like having a chance to get in every game," said Rollins, a two-way player in college. "You have to be ready everyday. There's a little different mindset, but I like it."

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