Former Jackson pitcher Nick Kiel signs with Mariners

Former Jackson pitcher Nick Kiel has been a Seattle Mariner fan since he was a child.

Now, Kiel could one day find himself playing for his favorite team.

Kiel, who most recently played at Bellevue College, was selected by his hometown Seattle Mariners in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball draft last weekend and signed with the team on Monday. He is eager to begin his professional career with the Mariners, which might see Kiel return to Everett Memorial Stadium as part of the Class A Everett AquaSox.

“I’ve been a Mariner fan since I was a little kid,” Kiel said. “Watching games and going to games in the Kingdome and Safeco forever. … I was speechless. Even getting drafted (is great) but to get drafted by my hometown team was just incredible.”

When he first heard the news — from a Mariners’ area scout — Kiel wasn’t completely sure what was going on.

Then it clicked, as he realized Seattle had drafted him.

“It was an honor and it was pretty awesome,” Kiel said. “I didn’t even know that I got picked until the area scout called me and said, ‘Congratulations.’ I didn’t put two and two together until he said, ‘You didn’t see it? We picked you.’”

Kiel went 7-4 with a 1.81 earned-run average for the Bulldogs last season, where he struck out a team-high 95 batters. He was a first-team All-Wesco selection his senior year at Jackson.

The left-handed pitcher said the Mariners had shown some interest in him in the past, even scouting a few of his games while he was at Jackson. Kiel had committed to Missouri next season, but signed a contract with Seattle on Monday. He is scheduled to head to the Mariners’ spring training complex in Peoria on June 20 after finishing classes at Bellevue College. Once there he will take a physical and await further instructions.

Kiel was told he may remain at the Mariners complex in Arizona, go to Rookie League Pulaski in Virginia or back to more familiar territory with the short-season Everett AquaSox.

“Everett would be awesome because I have so many friends and family out here that could watch me throw. That would be cool,” Kiel said. “I’m not sure. It just depends what player development says.”

To celebrate, Kiel is going to — where else? — Safeco Field today to watch the series finale between the Mariners and the New York Yankees. He’s excited to see Derek Jeter’s final game in Seattle while looking at a field that he hopes to play on someday.

“I’m excited,” Kiel said. “Getting ready to head out in the next week or so. I’m ready for it to start. Hopefully, good things will happen.”

All-Star coaches announced

NEW YORK —Ron Gardenhire will be in the dugout with the AL All-Stars at his home stadium.

The Minnesota manager was chosen along with Cleveland’s Terry Francona as coaches to join AL manager John Farrell of Boston in the July 15 All-Star game at Target Field.

For the NL, manager Mike Matheny of St. Louis chose Clint Hurdle of Pittsburgh and Fredi Gonzalez of Atlanta as his coaching staff.

Francona has managed the AL team before — in 2005 and 2008. Gardenhire, who has managed the Twins since 2002, has been an AL coach in 2003 and 2007.

Lirano to disabled list

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates placed left-handed starter Francisco Liriano on the disabled list because of a strained left oblique Wednesday, a day after he left a start in the fourth inning when he felt discomfort while throwing a pitch.

Liriano, who was the Pirates’ best starter last season and helped lead them to their first playoff berth in 21 years, is 1-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 starts this season.

He became MLB’s only two-time comeback player of the year honoree when he won the award in the NL last season.

Liriano bent over and held his back after throwing a pitch to the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo during a loss Tuesday. Liriano, who led the Pirates with 16 wins in 26 starts last season, left the mound after a few warmup pitches.

He also left an April 26 start in St. Louis after two innings because of flu-like symptoms.

Liriano was replaced on the Pirates roster by right-handed reliever Stolmy Pimentel, who was recalled from his rehabilitation assignment and reinstated from the disabled list.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks offensive and defensive linemen jog up the field before the team's mock NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Seattle. (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP)
Lock wins first big test in Seahawks’ QB competition

The 4th-year quarterback outplays veteran Geno Smith in Seattle’s mock game at Lumen Field.

Cory McKenna (top) tries to submit Miranda Granger during a UFC mixed martial arts match on Aug. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Photo via ESPN MMA)
Glacier Peak grad Granger defeated in return to action

The Snohomish native loses by second-round submission to Cory McKenna in her first fight in nearly two years.

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird sits on the bench during a WNBA basketball game against the Minnesota Lynx, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Seattle. Bird is retiring at the end of the 2022 season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Bird at peace for what could be final game in Seattle

The basketball icon, who is retiring at the end of the season, will be celebrated in front of a record crowd on Sunday.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox battered, drop 4th straight game to Hops

Everett pitchers allow 18 hits in a 13-2 loss to Hillsboro.

Los Angeles Angels' David Fletcher, right, is congratulated by Jared Walsh after hitting a two-run home run off Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Chris Flexen during the sixth inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Seattle. Walsh scored on the homer. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Mariners fall to Angels in Game 2, split doubleheader

Seattle welcomes Mitch Haniger back to the lineup, but can’t solve Angels starter Reid Detmers in a 7-1 loss.

Seattle Mariners' Ty France (23) celebrates at the plate with Jarred Kelenic after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Mariners edge Angels in Game 1 of doubleheader

Ty France homers to back a quality start from George Kirby in Seattle’s 2-1 win.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly stretches during NFL football practice Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
How Dissly, Seahawks agreed to most ‘shocking’ offseason deal

An inside look at the frantic hours that kept the young tight end away from his old QB, Russell Wilson, in Denver.

Washington ege Zion Tupuola-Fetui (58) and teammates take part in the NCAA college football team's practice in Seattle on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP)
Fall returns to Husky Stadium as UW opens preseason camp

Under a slight mist, the Washington football team holds its first preseason practice under new head coach Kalen DeBoer.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox drop 3rd consecutive game to Hops

Everett allows six runs in the first inning and never recovers in a 9-4 defeat.

Most Read