SEATTLE – Even with the season nearing an end, the roster churn of trying to find affordable and controllable talent that other teams walk away from never stops for the Mariners.
On Friday, the Mariners claimed right-handed pitcher Ian Hamilton off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.
Hamilton, 25, was designated for assignment by Chicago on Sept. 18. He’d made four appearances for the White Sox this season, posting a 4.50 ERA with four strikeouts in four innings.
He made his major league debut Aug. 31, 2018, against the Boston Red Sox. He has appeared in parts of two major league seasons, posting a 1-2 record with a hold and a 4.50 ERA (six earned runs, 12 innings pitched), seven walks and nine strikeouts in 14 relief appearances.
Hamilton’s 2019 season was marked by injury and misfortune. A car accident during spring training led to a jammed shoulder and a delayed start. His season came to an end when he was struck in the face by a line drive, suffering multiple facial fractures that would require surgery.
When healthy, Hamilton has a fastball that can touch 99 mph and averaged 96.6 mph in 2019. His slider, however, isn’t a plus pitch.
People in baseball circles in Washington are familiar with Hamilton. He was a standout athlete for Skyview High School in Vancouver, leading the Storm to the State 4A championship in 2013. He posted an 8-1 record with a 1.17 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 60 innings and was named the 4A Baseball Player of the Year by the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association.
Hamilton signed with Washington State out of high school and was a three-time All-Pac-12 performer. He saved a school-record 15 games as a freshman, which led the conference, and 13 games as a sophomore. He was converted to a starter as a junior and struggled. He was selected by the White Sox in the 11th round of the 2016 draft.
The Mariners had success earlier this season by claiming a reliever with southwest Washington roots. The M’s picked up right-hander Taylor Williams, who played high-school baseball at Camas High School, off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers this spring. Williams pitched well enough for the M’s to swap him for a prospect from the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline.