Nola, who's hitting .250 (4-for-16) with one RBI and two runs over his first six Cactus League games, will split playing time at catcher with Tom Murphy fairly evenly this season, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The Mariners traded Omar Narvaez to the Brewers this offseason, leaving the primary backup job at catcher to Nola, who logged time most of his time at first base during his rookie 2019 campaign. However, manager Scott Servais confirmed Thursday that he envisions Nola being very close in playing time to Murphy in an effort to help prevent wear and tear on both players. "I think it's really going to be a balance," Servais said. "Everybody says, 'Oh, Murphy is the starting catcher.' He'll start Opening Night, probably. We'll see. But those guys are going to be more of a 55-45 [percent split]. They're both going to play a very similar amount."
Nola went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk in a win over the Athletics on Friday. Nola is seemingly getting back on track at the plate as the season comes to a close. He's now hit safely in three straight games after a brief 0-for-14 skid and has driven in a run in each of the last two contests, pushing him over the 30-RBI mark for the season. The 29-year-old rookie has generally made good use of his long-awaited first exposure to big-league pitching, slashing a solid .268/.341/.455 across 259 plate appearances.
Nola entered Wednesday's loss to the Astros as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and singled with one out in the ninth to break up Zach Greinke's no-hitter. The rookie played spoiler in the shutout loss and snapped the 0-for-14 funk that had encompassed his four prior games in the process. Nola has slowed down considerably since a red-hot first month and a half at the big-league level (80-point drop in batting average to .262 since Aug. 1), although he did spike for nine hits over a four-game period earlier in September.
Nola is not in Wednesday's lineup against the Astros, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. Nola is hitting .210 with three home runs and a .748 OPS through 18 games this month. Daniel Vogelbach is starting at first base in his place, with Omar Narvaez covering DH duties and Tom Murphy starting behind the dish.
Nola is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Orioles, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Nola has been playing close to every day for Seattle, and he's still hitting enough to justify the playing time (.884 OPS, three homers in September). He should be back in there Sunday to face lefty John Means.