A Two-Inning Redemption For Dillon Overton
PEORIA, Ariz.—Have you ever closed out a rotten round of golf with a birdie on hole No. 18? You go home feeling a little better about things, right?
Lefthander Dillon Overton began his big league career last season with the Athletics by allowing 31 runs, 48 hits and a staggering 12 homers in 22.1 innings in his first six appearances over four separate callups.
"When you get hit around like that as much as I did,” Overton said, "it makes your confidence waver a little bit. It doesn’t matter how good you did in Triple-A. I was struggling mentally and emotionally. It was tough.”
And tough to explain. The 25-year-old was otherwise having a fine year at Triple-A Nashville. He went 13-5, 3.29 in 21 games (20 starts), but . . .
"It doesn’t matter how good you did in Triple-A,” Overton said. "When you up here, that doesn’t matter. Big league hitters, they don’t care.”
The mindset changed after Overton spent "about two weeks” throwing on the side during a September callup.
"They finally threw me in for two innings in Anaheim,” said Overton, a 2013 second-rounder from Oklahoma, "and everything went really well. That was the last outing I had before the offseason. In my mind, I ended the season on a good note.”
Two good innings. It was enough to bolster Overton, but the Athletics weren’t convinced. They designated him for assignment on Jan. 25. A day later, the Mariners acquired him in a trade for catcher Jason Goldstein.
General manager Jerry Dipoto called Overton "an excellent strike-thrower with above-average feel and a solid curveball-changeup combination.”
Overton felt wanted again.
"(The Mariners) told me they were going to pick me out of college,” he said, "but the A’s had the pick before. When a team wants you like that—it feels good to be wanted.”Overton made the Mariners' Opening Day roster, but was placed on paternity leave for the birth of his first child. That allowed righthander Chase De Jong to be on the Opening Day roster.
• Outfielder Boog Powell, who has five games remaining on his drug suspension, revived his prospect status with a strong spring. He went 15-for-26 (.577) in 16 games before being optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
• Max Povse, the 6-foot-8 righthander acquired from the Braves, opened eyes in big league camp by working 10 scoreless innings before being reassigned to Double-A Arkansas.
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— Bob Dutton covers the Mariners for the Tacoma News Tribune