Mariners Sign Owings and Mills To Minor League Contracts

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Sep 19, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Micah Owings and Brad Mills both hope to be playing at Safeco Field for the Mariners in the near future, but for now, they’ll need to settle in, south of the stadium, in Tacoma. The two men have just signed minor league contracts with the AAA Tacoma affiliate. But, what does this mean for the Mariners?

These two signings might seem minor to some -no pun intended- but let’s look at the major  potential contributions if the M’s get the best out of both players.

Micah Owings

It may seem unlikely that Owings -who hasn’t played in the majors since 2012- could be a resourceful piece of the Mariners rotation. But, if he’s fully healthy, Owings has the ability to be a solid addition late in the rotation. If he gets the call up of course.

Let’s remember, in his first season in the big leagues, Owings had a complete game, two-hit shutout. He also only allowed more than three runs in eight of his twenty-nine outings. That’s one fewer than Felix Hernandez in each of the last two seasons.

In 2008, he showed promise by starting out the season 4-0 with a respectable ERA of 2.42. Now, he would finish that year with a ghastly ERA of 5.93, but, we’re focusing on the positive here.

Even in his last two years as a reliever before his shoulder injury, Owings was fairly reliable. In thirty-five relief appearances, Owings had an ERA of around 3.50 and a record of 8-2.

However, everything will depend on his shoulder as that is one of the key body parts required to throw a pitch properly. Also, his layoff from the game might expose some rust, but, that can dealt with.

Brad Mills

Mills is actually re-signing with the Rainiers. He was originally picked up by the Mariners in December of 2015, but has now signed on for another stint.

Mills pitched mediocre ball in AAA this past year. His 3-3 record was OK, but his 5.28 ERA in nine starts was not.

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In his six years of scattered play before joining the Mariners, things weren’t much better. In fact, they were worse. As a reliever and starter with three other clubs in that period of time, Mills had a record of 4-4, but an ERA of 7.97.

To put that into perspective, if were compared Mills’s career ERA with every Rainier player that pitched at least five games last year, his ERA would be 1.83 higher than the next worst pitcher.

However, it isn’t all bad. In his first start of 2010, Mills pitched seven shutout innings of two-hit ball. In 2012, in his only game of that year, he did it again. This time he went five innings without giving up a run, and didn’t walk a batter and struck out six men.

Everything will depend though on his shoulder injury. His recovery is expected to dig into some of spring training, but when he’s healthy, he’ll have a chance to prove he’s better than his numbers.

Next: Will Felix Have A 300 K Season?

Whatever ends up happening with these two men over the course of 2017, -will they stay in AAA? Will they be called up?- there is hope that they could bring some quality to either the bullpen or even in the back of the rotation.

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