It’s the end of an era, as the Mariners have designated C/1B Jacob Nottingham for assignment a few days after claiming him on waivers, just one day after activating him. Nottingham’s jettisoning comes on the heels of a far more vital 48 hours from both of Seattle’s backstops at the dish, and with multiple 1Bs on the roster there’s understandably little need for him. The move creates a space instead for an extra bullpen arm, and a possible big league debut for sidearming Gonzaga product RHP Wyatt Mills.
There’s only bits and pieces of Mills throwing in the past year or so online, but the former third round pick from 2017 has long been seen as on the cusp of the big leagues, and at last he’s punched his ticket. Mills has been fairly impressive at nearly every level, which includes multiple stretches at AA-Arkansas and a stint with USA Baseball. The 25 year old was added to the Mariners 40-man roster this winter to avoid a rule-5 draft selection, and has a great shot at slotting in the big league pen as a ground ball and righty-snuffing specialist.
Mills has generally been 92-95 with his sidearm sinker and a sharp slider with 11-5 movement, with predictably dinger-averse results. His peripherals have been excellent along his minor league career, and his velocity appeared to pop a bit more last year in the fall developmental league. Whether or not Mills sticks or is just up in the short term may be somewhat out of his control, as he can be easily optioned again soon unlike several of the club’s relievers, but the 25 year old should have every chance to prove he belongs in Seattle long term over the course of the season. Welcome, Wyatt! Congratulations.