Sean Nolin

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Sean Patrick Nolin

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Biographical Information[edit]

Sean Nolin was a 6th-round choice by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 amateur draft, having earlier been selected in 2008 (Milwaukee Brewers, 50th round) and 2009 (Seattle Mariners, 48th round) without signing. He made his professional debut that year, going 0-2, 5.48 in 7 starts between the GCL Blue Jays and Auburn Doubledays. He spent 2011 in the Midwest League with the Lansing Lugnuts, with a record of 4-4, 3.49 in 25 games and 108 1/3 innings, striking out 113. He was unbeaten in 2012, starting the year with a sparkling 9-0, 2.19 record in 17 games with the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, then added another win in 3 games (with a 1.20 ERA) with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Altogether, he was 10-0, 2.04 in 20 games, pitching 101 1/3 innings, during which he struck out 108 batters. He was a mid-season All-Star in the Florida State League. Had he qualified, he would have easily led the FSL in ERA, 0.70 ahead of Nik Turley. He tied for 5th in the Jays chain in wins and was 6th in strikeouts.

Nolin was back with New Hampshire at the start of 2013 and extended his winning streak to 12 games with a pair of wins and no losses in his first three appearances, giving up only 2 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. On May 24th, he was called up to the American League to make his major league debut as the starter against the Baltimore Orioles. He replaced Darren Oliver, who went on the DL. Things started roughly as he gave up singles to the first two batters he faced, Nick Markakis and Manny Machado, and J.J. Hardy followed with a three-run homer before he could record a single out. In the 2nd, it went even worse, as he started the frame with a double, a walk and a single to load the bases, after which Markakis cleared the bases with another double. He retired Machado, but then was replaced by Ramon Ortiz. He ended the day with a loss and an ERA of 40.50. It was his only presence at the big league level that season, but the rest of his season in the minors went just fine, as he was 8-3 for New Hampshire and 1-1 for the AAA Buffalo Bisons, for a combined stats line of 9-4. 2.77 in 20 starts, with 116 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings.

Sean also made a single appearance at the major league level in 2014, this one in relief, giving up a run in his only inning of work. He was not fully healthy that year, being limited to 20 starts in the minors, three of them during rehabilitation assignments. With Buffalo, he went 4-6, 3.50 in 17 games, pitching 87 1/3 innings and striking out 74. On November 28th, the Blue Jays traded him to the Oakland Athletics alongside 3B Brett Lawrie, P Kendall Graveman and minor league infield prospect Franklin Barreto, in return for 3B Josh Donaldson. He split the 2015 season between the minor leagues, where he went 2-2, 2.66 in 14 games for the Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League, and Oakland, where he was 1-2, 5.28 in 6 starts. His season was cut short by three separate stints on the disabled list, mainly because of problems with his throwing shoulder. On February 12, 2016, he was designated for assignment when the A's acquired OF Khris Davis in a trade and needed a roster spot for him.

He was out of the major leagues for five full seasons, from 2016 to 2020, before resurfacing with the Washington Nationals in 2021. In between, he had not played at all in 2016 and 2017, spent the next two seasons in the minors, and was in Japan in 2020, with the Seibu Lions. The Nationals then gave him a shot in their minor league system, and he returned to the majors on August 12th. On September 10th, he was handed a five-game suspension for throwing intentionally at Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves two days earlier, in apparent retaliation for Will Smith plunking Juan Soto with a pitch the previous day. Manager Dave Martinez was also suspended, for one game in his case. He went 0-2, 4.39 in 10 games, including 5 starts, logging 26 2/3 innings for the Nationals.

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