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Dillon Overton is needed arm and new dad in Mariners bullpen

Dillon Overton made the Mariners' opening day roster and witnessed his son's birth in a matter of days. (AP)

HOUSTON – It has been the sweetest of weeks for new Mariners reliever Dillon Overton. Last Friday he was told he made the team. On Tuesday, in Waxahachie, Texas, he and his wife welcomed their first child, Oliver Ray Overton, to the world. Overton called the experience “a roller coaster of really good emotions.”

“He’s everything we wanted,” Overton said of his son. “When he came out, immediately my wife’s and my eyes watered. It’s an awesome experience. It sucks that I have to leave him, it’s my job I have to do, but it’s amazing to be a new father.”

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto on the start to 2017

Overton said that his wife made sure he had quality time with their new son knowing he would need to return to work shortly after his birth. Overton did not neglect his baseball duties while away, however, as he threw twice every day in the hospital parking lot with his brother-in-law and father-in-law. He looks forward to the day his son can be his throwing partner.

“I’m hoping for a lefty,” said the Mariners southpaw.

Overton returned to the Mariners Thursday afternoon and was activated from the paternity list. While he missed opening day, the true thrill for him was making the Mariners’ 25-man roster. Last year was a rough one for him with the A’s. Overton was candid in his remarks that this spring that the change of scenery would probably be a good thing for him. While the odds were long that he would make the team, steady performances start to finish along with the belief that he could transition to the pen for long relief duty earned him a spot in a bullpen that would start the season with an extra arm.

“I knew when we got late into spring I had a chance, I had a shot,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was going to happen but I knew I was in a good spot. Once they told me, all of the emotions started rolling through my head. I can’t believe after last year, I made the team and then immediately I started thinking, on Tuesday I am going to be a dad.”

The new dad is a needed arm in the pen after the entire group was used in the Mariners’ 5-3 loss in 13 innings Wednesday night. Overton looks forward to getting to work with his new team.

“There will never be another week in my entire life that will ever top this week,” he said. “Getting told you are on the opening day roster and having a new child, all within four days? It’s completely overwhelming in a good way. It was awesome.”

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