The Mariners have released infielder Wyatt Mathisen and right-hander Vinny Nittoli, per Triple-A director of media relations Paul Braverman (Twitter link). Both had been with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, and both were on the 40-man roster earlier this year before eventually being outrighted.
Mathisen, 27, began the 2021 season with the Diamondbacks, for whom he’d made his Major League debut in 2020. He posted just a .159/.298/.290 slash through 84 plate appearances in the Majors between 2020-21, but Mathisen has plenty of defensive versatility, an excellent track record in Triple-A and multiple minor league options remaining. That prompted both the Rays and the Mariners to acquire him in a pair of subsequent trades, each sending cash back the other direction.
Mathisen’s strong Triple-A production continued with the Rays before being designated for assignment and flipped to Seattle. His production at the plate unexpectedly cratered in Triple-A Tacoma, however, as Mathisen has batted just .137/.310/.225 in 129 plate appearances. Even with those struggles, he’s still a career .249/.359/.472 hitter in Triple-A, including a massive .283/.403/.601 showing through 87 games back in 2019. Mathisen has been limited to the infield corners in 2021 but also has experience at second base, at both outfield corners and even 542 innings at catcher (all coming back in 2012-13).
Nittoli, 30, made his big league debut with the Mariners at 30 years old earlier this season but appeared in just one game, allowing a pair of runs. He’d been in his second stint with the organization that originally drafted him in the 25th round back in 2014. In between Mariners stints, he pitched with the Blue Jays and D-backs in addition to stints in the independent American Association and in Mexico. He’d pitched to a 3.50 ERA with a 26-to-5 K/BB ratio through 18 innings at the time of his long-awaited call to the big leagues, but Nittoli has yielded 14 runs in 15 2/3 frames since.