Jacob Nottingham’s stay on the Mariners’ MLB roster lasted all of one game — Friday night’s win over the Angels — which he watched from the bench.
The Mariners’ claimed the big catcher off waivers last week after he was designated for assignment by the Brewers. He traveled to Seattle, passed intake protocols and was activated to the Mariners’ roster on Friday afternoon.
On Saturday afternoon, the Mariners designated Nottingham for assignment and recalled right-handed pitcher Wyatt Mills from the alternate training site.
The Mariners have 10 days to either trade, release or outright Nottingham. In a bit of roster bingo, the Mariners would like to keep Nottingham, who is out of minor league options, in the organization but not on the MLB roster. So by claiming him and putting him on the 40-man roster, and then designating him for assignment, they can hope he clears waivers and can be outrighted to their minor league system. Nottingham must accept the assignment if he wants to earn his regular salary for this season.
Nottingham could join Cal Raleigh and Jose Godoy at Triple-A Tacoma as depth. It would allow the Mariners to give Raleigh some days at designated hitter.
Mills, 26, was added to the 40-man roster during the offseason to protect him from being taken in the Rule 5 draft. He will wear No. 40.
Born and raised in Spokane, Mills blossomed into a standout pitcher at Gonzaga. The Mariners selected him in the third round of the 2017 draft as a senior.
Using a ¾-to-sidearm delivery, Mills has always had plenty of movement on his pitches. But with no minor league season in 2020, he used the shutdown from COVID to add some velocity to his sinking fastball through some weighted ball work and increased lifting program. Mills’ fastball can touch 95 mph.
In three minor league seasons (2017-2019), he posted a 10-6 record with 25 saves and a 3.57 ERA with 154 strikeouts and 39 walks in 126 innings pitched.
Walk this way?
Mariners manager Scott Servais was asked about a noticeable trend of fewer intentional walks this season — 96 in 986 games. Barry Bonds seemed to get 96 on his own in a season.
“I don’t necessarily think it has totally went away,” Servais said “We’ve done it a couple times this year. Also, there are plenty of times that it comes up throughout the game where you are going to pitch around guys. And it doesn’t show up in the in the column as an intentional walk, but it was the unintentional intentional walk, so to speak. And that happens a lot more in the game than maybe it did in the past. So it’s still out there. It’s still strategically a part of the game, match-up-wise.”
And that subject is fitting when playing Mike Trout in a series. The perennial MVP candidate came into Saturday’s game with a .425/.523/.781 slash line with eight doubles, six homers, 14 RBI, 14 walks and 23 strikeouts in 21 games. And his torture of Mariners pitchers is well known.
Coming into Saturday’s game, Trout had played 165 games against the Mariners in his illustrious career, posting a .327/.430/.655 slash line with 36 doubles, 10 triples, 46 homers, 119 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Trout added to those totals with a two-run homer in the first inning Saturday off of Ljay Newsome.
“Playing against a team with a guy like Mike Trout, you are thinking about it,” Servais said. “If there is a base open, is it the right thing to do? More times than not, I know I have intentionally walked Mike Trout quite a bit, probably more than any other player in the league since I’ve been managing. But the situation has to dictate it. Just walking a guy intentionally with nobody on base doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Because as good as these players are, they still get out the majority of the time.”
- Left-hander Nick Margevicius, who was placed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation, will undergo further testing next week to determine what is causing the issue.
- With the players at the alternate site reporting to Triple-A Tacoma next week to start the minor league season, Ichiro will be noticeable addition to the coaching staff. He will work with hitters in the batting cages, work with outfield defense and throwing batting practice. He had been working exclusively with players at the alternate training site for the last month.
“He’ll be doing what he’s always done,” Servais said. “He will be around here every home game and I’m looking forward to having him around. I really enjoy it and our players do as well.”