Zoning in on Vidal Nuño

ZoningIn05_Nuno

Zoning in on the 2016 Mariners is a daily series in which we’ll examine one player every day, 30 total, in the lead-up to Opening Day. We’ll explain their role on the field, what they’re like off of it and provide highlights and photos. On deck tomorrow: Justin De Fratus.

In a sea of new faces, the Mariners do have plenty of returners. But while Vidal Nuño is one of them, he hasn’t been in Seattle long, having joined the club in the June, 2015 trade with the Diamondbacks that also brought in Mark Trumbo.

Nuño isn’t entirely an unfamiliar face, but he comes to camp with a bit of a different role.

After splitting time between the rotation and bullpen last year, and starting a total of 41 games over the past three years—including 28 in 2014 between the Yankees and Diamondbacks and 10 last year with the Mariners—Nuño is working exclusively as a reliever here at Spring Training.

Over the winter, Jerry Dipoto noted Nuño’s strong performance against lefties. It’s something that could play up well in a bullpen role, as the Scott Servais and his staff consider their options from the left side out of the ‘pen.

For his career, Nuño has held lefties to a .193 average and has struck them out 24 percent of the time he’s faced them. In 2015, that strikeout rate against left-handed hitters went all the way up to 29.2 percent, ten percentage points higher than what he did against righties on the year.

It’s easy to see the appeal in him potentially coming out of the bullpen for some big spots, particularly as the club has seen some of it already. Last year, he had a 1.91 ERA in relief, striking out 39 over 37.2 innings.

While he, along with the rest of the pitchers, are getting ready for the season, Nuño has been at it for some time now. He pitched over the offseason for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League, and was quite effective in doing so, going 5-1 in seven starts with a 1.98 ERA.

Off the Field

Vidal Nuño is a California native who now resides in San Diego during the offseason. He’s a 2005 graduated of Sweetwater High School in National City, CA.

For college, he attended Baker Univeristy in Baldwin City, KS, which competes in the NAIA. He’s actually the first player ever drafted out of Baker University, and only the second to appear in the Major Leagues.

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