Ashley Varela

Ashley is a freelance writer based in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared online and in print with NBC’s HardballTalk, USA Today Sports, Baseball Prospectus, SB Nation, Sporting News, and Mashable, among other publications. Beyond baseball, she also nurtures a deep love for history, theme parks, musical theatre, and literature, most of which she covers on her blog.
Austin Nola
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Mariners call up Austin Nola


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:

The Mariners will kick off Nola’s debut — and their series finale against Oakland — at 4:07 PM EDT on Sunday.