Yesterday, we had a minor move made at the fringes of the roster, with utility man Jack Mayfield being claimed from the Angels. Well, the moves started coming and they haven’t stopped coming yet.
Mariners roster moves:
C Jacob Nottingham Claimed off Waivers from Milwaukee
RHP Brandon Brennan Designated for Assignment
— Mariners PR (@MarinersPR) April 28, 2021
You might remember Nottingham more for being part of trade packages for Scott Kazmir and Khris Davis rather than as a player, but he’s held his own in 85 plate appearances over three seasons with the Brewers. In that span, he’s put up an ISO north of .200 and a double digit walk rate en route to a 94 wRC+, but that’s come with a bundle of strikeouts, including 37% (!) in 2020. He hasn’t played in the Majors in 2021 yet, due to recovering from thumb surgery in December and old friend Omar Narváez destroying worlds on both sides of the ball as Milwaukee’s starting catcher. Having turned 26 in April, he’s young enough that there’s still some intrigue in his bat, and his defense looks to be passable. With Seattle getting just a 20 wRC+ from the catcher spot so far, the bar for him to make an impact has been set pretty low.
Crucially, Nottingham is out of minor league options, and thus has not optioned to the Alternate Site – meaning a corresponding move will come when he reports to the club. I have to assume that this is the temporary end of the road for Luis Torrens (at least after tonight’s game); after a hot first couple of weeks that was pretty BABIP-fueled, he’s crashed back down and through the earth. He hasn’t had a hit since the 15th, going 0-for-21, his batted balls have either been on the ground or popped straight up, and his defense – though still not catastrophic, in my view – has taken a few steps back. In all, his performance after a promising 2020 has been one of the biggest bummers in the young season. The minor league season starts next week, though, and Torrens has all of his options remaining, so he should be given plenty of time to work on his issues in a low-pressure, yet still competitive environment. He and Cal Raleigh should be a blast to watch for the Rainiers.
To make room for Nottingham, former Rule 5 pick Brandon Brennan drew the DFA card. He turned plenty of heads at the start of 2019 with a masterful changeup and Scott Servais’s willingness to throw him into high leverage spots, but oblique and shoulder injuries have wreaked havoc on his career the past year and a half. His command issues never improved, either: he walked five hitters in just 7.1 innings last year, and issued four free passes in two Cactus League outings in March. At 29 and with his injury history, he feels like a pretty safe bet to slip through waivers, but it’s always possible that a team will remember his deadly changeup and take a flier on him.