Nicholas Phillip Margevicius
Height: 6'5" Weight: 220
Bats/Throws: Left / Left
Born: 06/18/1996 in Cleveland, Ohio
College: Rider University
Acquired: Claimed on waivers from the San Diego Padres (01/24/2020)
Salary: Not available
MLB Debut: 03/30/2019
Free Agent after: 2025 season
Ask yourself what sort of player Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto tends to go for, especially as concerns pitchers. If you answered something along the lines of "reclamation projects" or "guys who used to be good" or "players he thinks he sees something in that nobody else does," then you're on your way to understanding why Margevicius is in the Mariners' pitching mix. The tall lefty has an imposing build, but he's no Randy Johnson, he doesn't throw particularly hard or stare daggers at you from the mound. He's closer to Jamie Moyer with lifts. That said, he is a talented pitcher that got drafted in the seventh round by the Padres in 2017. He did well in the low minors and got a surprise promotion to the big leagues last year, from Double-A Amarillo straight to San Diego. He ended up being overmatched by Major League hitters, but early on he had solid results; it wasn't until scouting reports made their way around the league that he got into trouble. One of his early opponents was the Mariners, whom he beat with five decent innings of work at Petco Park in April 2019, which is likely what put him on Dipoto's radar. When the Padres waived him after the ’19 season, Dipoto picked him up as a low-risk experiment.
Margevicius (pronounced Mar-GAV-ich-us) was with the M's all of last year's short season, initially in the bullpen before shifting to the starting rotation when Kendall Graveman went on the shelf. He put up decent if not spectacular numbers, especially for a guy that skipped Triple-A, capping his season with a six-shutout-inning start versus the Astros. This year he's likely to find himself back in relief, though in spring training he was impressively making a case to start ahead of Justin Dunn.
The number on Nick's jersey, 52, has not been kind to Seattle pitchers, but he chose it anyway because it was the reverse of his preferred 25, which wasn't available (it belongs to Dylan Moore). The "52 Curse," as we will now call it, reaches back to 1997, when perhaps the worst trade in Mariner history brought reliever Heathcliff Slocumb, who would wear 52 since his 51 belonged to some other pitcher, over from the Red Sox. Slocumb won no fans in Seattle with his 2-9, 4.97 tenure as closer. Subsequent No. 52s have included free-agent bust Carlos Silva (5-18, 6.81) and Nick Rumbelow (0-0, 7.58). There have been exceptions—Dominic Leone wore 52 and he was decent, as was Anthony Bass—but the cumulative ERA for Mariners wearing the number 52 on the mound before Margevicius is 5.27.