Mariners sign reliever Aaron Heilman to minor-league contract

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Aaron Heilman had an ugly 6.88 ERA for the Diamondbacks last season, so not surprisingly he’s had to settle for a minor-league contract and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that he’s signed with the Mariners.

After being released by the Diamondbacks in mid-July he latched on with the Phillies and then the Pirates, but failed to make it back to the majors.

Heilman didn’t pitch particularly well at Triple-A either, but his 33/11 K/BB ratio in 35 innings for Arizona suggest he might still be a useful middle reliever if he can keep the home runs in check.

Prior to imploding last season he had a 4.50 ERA and 55/26 K/BB ratio in 72 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2010 and that’s probably Heilman’s remaining upside at age 33.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.

Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.

At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.