Projecting the Mariners Rotation for 2023

The Mariners cracked a lengthy postseason drought in 2022, as Seattle made it into the MLB Playoffs for the first time since 2001. Much of the M’s success last season can be attributed to a strong rotation, and the good news for Seattle fans is that the same group is set to return for this upcoming season. Barring any injuries, here’s a look at how the Mariners rotation shapes up entering 2023.

Related: Projecting the Cardinals Rotation for 2023

A Look at the Mariners Rotation Options for 2023

  1. RHP Luis Castillo (8-6, 2.99 ERA, 10.0 K/9)
  2. LHP Robbie Ray (12-12, 3.71 ERA, 10.1 K/9)
  3. RHP Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.20 ERA, 8.4 K/9)
  4. RHP George Kirby (8-5, 3.39 ERA, 9.2 K/9)
  5. LHP Marco Gonzales (10-15, 4.13 ERA, 5.1 K/9)

The Mariners are set to return its starting group of five from late last season, including RHP Luis Castillo. Acquired from the Reds in late July of last year, Castillo dominated in his time in the Pacific Northwest in 2022. Castillo struck out 77 batters over 65.1 innings in Seattle, and posted the 13th-highest K/9 (10.6) among all pitchers (122) who threw at least 45 innings from July 30 onward. Armed with a power heater, as well as an above-average slider & change, Castillo is set to headline a talented Mariners rotation.

LHP Robbie Ray didn’t replicate his AL Cy Young award campaign in 2022, but the lefty still proved to be highly effective last season. Despite his ERA jumping up to 3.71, the 30-year-old did strike out the seventh-most batters (212) in baseball last season.

Young right-hander Logan Gilbert won 13 games in his first full season in the Majors, and the 25-year-old posted tidy ERA (3.20) and WHIP (1.18) figure for the M’s in 2022. While Gilbert doesn’t have the same stuff that Castillo and Ray do, the righty can pound the upper half of the zone with a solid, mid-90s heater. Plus, Gilbert boasts two solid breaking balls and a changeup.

Former Elon star George Kirby excelled in his first season in the Majors. The right-hander posted a well-above-average 4.1 BB% rate, thanks to strong control and command of his stuff. The 25-year-old, along with Gilbert, is set to be a key piece for the Mariners’ future in the coming years.

Last up is Marco Gonzales. The 30-year-old lefty posted the lowest K% (13.2%) of his career, but still did a decent job of getting hitters in between with his changeup and limited the walks. On the other hand, Gonzales gave the fourth-highest amount of home runs (30) among pitchers in 2022. The lefty wasn’t the only Mariner to have problems with the long ball, as Robbie Ray yielded 32 last season.

Gonzales is set to anchor the back end of a very formidable rotation. The M’s do have other options should any backup plans be needed in Chris Flexen and former top prospect Matt Brash, although it’s more than likely that both start 2023 in the rotation barring another move. Brash, in particular, shined in the bullpen last season. The 24-year-old struck out 62 over 50.2 innings, but didn’t demonstrate great control. Brash posted an unsightly 5.9 BB/9 last season.

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