The Mariners have selected the contract of catcher/infielder Austin Nola, per an announcement from skipper Scott Servais on Saturday. Nola will make his major-league debut during Sunday’s game against the Athletics, where he’ll play first base and bat ninth.
The older brother of Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola, 29-year-old Austin has toiled in the minors for eight long years before getting his break. He impressed in Triple-A Tacoma this spring, slashing a hearty .327/.415/.520 with seven home runs, 37 RBI, and a .935 OPS across 229 plate appearances. He’ll assume the roster spot left by Edwin Encarnación on Saturday and is expected to lend some positional versatility to the Mariners’ bench, as he’s well-versed in every infield position and has experience behind the dish as well.
In a conversation with Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nola’s brother expressed his excitement over the long-awaited move:
Aaron Nola said he was more excited last night to find out his older brother, Austin, got called up by the Mariners than he was when #Phillies called him up in '15. "It's one of the better days that I've had. It makes a good present for my dad for Father's Day."— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) June 16, 2019
The Mariners will kick off Nola’s debut -- and their series finale against Oakland -- at 4:07 PM EDT on Sunday.