Analysis: Don’t call it an excess, but the Mariners have the depth every team aspires to

The mere point out of the phrase elicits a flinch from Jerry Dipoto and a momentary reluctance to talk, which hardly ever occurs from the always-talking Mariners baseball operations chief.

Whereas which may be true, the tough nature of baseball and the risky unpredictability of pitching efficiency and well being would not permit Dipoto to consider and even say the phrase “extra” when it got here to how a lot beginning to play on his 40-man roster and within the group.

“I am not a superstitious individual, however any time I hear that phrase, extra, I shudder a bit. I do not even like saying it. So I do not know if I would go as far as to say we now have an extra. I’ve mentioned these phrases and it terrifies me as a result of as quick Which you say we now have a redundancy you may understand you do not, as a result of that is simply the character of promotion.

Nonetheless, there are many groups which might be very happy to say that if it means they’ve a Mariners group of beginning pitchers, which is about nearly as good as any group in Main League Baseball.

The Mariners have six main league baseball starters on their projected 40-man roster, they usually have all contributed considerably to their success within the 2022 run to the postseason. There are three potential beginning pitchers able to make their MLB debut within the farm system.

“The Mariners have proven they’re good at discovering and creating the outfield in any respect ranges,” mentioned a rival scout within the American League. “It is among the largest strengths of the group.”

The anticipated beginning rotation for the possible 2023 season would be the identical because the 5 starters who completed the 2022 season: Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Marco Gonzalez.

After being acquired from the Reds simply earlier than the 2022 MLB commerce deadline for 4 prospects, Castillo took excessive spot with a string of dominant performances within the ultimate months of the season. He signed a five-year, $108 million contract extension and delivered two spectacular begins within the postseason.

There was no shock when Dipoto was requested about having Castillo within the rotation for a full season and what he would possibly do with 30-plus begins for the Mariners.

“Every single day he begins, you are feeling like you are going to win that recreation,” Dipoto mentioned. “And that is an important feeling to carry to a group that you simply’re attempting to assist develop. We thought he was the very best pitcher available on the market and paid a premium to get him. I might do it once more. Particularly if I knew he was going to signal. It makes it simpler.”

By way of stuff and the flexibility to dam an opponent, Castillo brings one thing to the Mariners that hasn’t been evident since Felix Hernandez.

Whereas most followers will bear in mind Ray delivering a rocket homer to Yordan Alvarez at Minute Maid Park within the American League Collection, his season was extra productive than one outing.

Ray made 32 begins, posting a 12-12 document with a 3.71 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 62 walks in 189 innings pitched with a 1.8 FanGraphs WAR. Clearly, extra was anticipated from reigning AL Cy Younger winner, who was signed to a five-year, $115 million contract. Ray wasn’t the primary performer the Mariners anticipated, however he by no means missed a begin.

The Mariners performed with the potential for buying and selling Gonzalez within the days following the acquisition of Castillo however had been unable to discover a workable deal. He posted a 10-15 document with a 4.13 ERA in 32 begins. After posting 3.6 WAR in 2019, Gonzalez ran 0.5 WAR in 2021 and 0.1 WAR in 2022.

Whereas Castillo leads the lead, it is the duo of Gilbert and Kirby that basically make the spin particular. The 2 hometown pitchers — each first-round picks — have the potential to be star performers.

In his second full season, Gilbert posted a document of 13-6 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 begins with 174 strikeouts and 49 walks in 185 2/3 innings pitched. Kirby, who started the season with Class AA Arkansas, had an 8-5 document with a 3.39 ERA in 25 begins with 133 strikeouts and simply 22 walks in 130 innings pitched.

Gilbert and Kirby set profession highs in innings, surpassing their earlier highs as professionals. This workload is a priority subsequent season by way of potential accidents.

The Mariners had no beginning pitcher miss an outing on account of harm final season and by no means had a beginning pitcher spend any time on the injured listing, which is uncommon. It is the rationale for Dipoto’s reluctance to take away from overhangs that embody Chris Flexen and Matt Brash, who had been within the 2022 Opening Day beginning rotation. They’re slotted to bullpen roles although each can return to the beginning place if wanted.

Whereas it is the Mariners’ desire to maintain hard-hitting Brash on the to-do listing, he could possibly be an emergency possibility if there are a number of accidents or Flexen is traded.

The Mariners have proper fingers Emerson Hancock, Bryce Miller and Taylor Dollard – the three largest big-league beginning prospects within the minor league system and able to making their MLB debut this season. It makes Flexen, who has a $8 million contract for the 2023 season, expendable.

“It offers us an enormous benefit in a market that’s all the time going hungry,” mentioned Dipoto. “If we are able to meet one in all our different wants by profiting from a few of these promotions, that is one thing we have to think about.”

anticipated rotation


  • Luis Castillo, RHP
  • Robbie Ray, LHP
  • Logan Gilbert, RHP
  • George Kirby, RHP
  • Marco Gonzalez, LHP

Class AAA Tacoma

  • Taylor Dollard, RHP
  • Tommy Mellon, LHP
  • Justus Sheffield, LHP
  • Darren McCaughan, RHP
  • to be introduced in a while

Class AA Arkansas

  • Emerson Hancock, RHP
  • Bryce Miller, RHP
  • Brilander Broa, RHP
  • Stephen Kulick, RHP
  • Juan Mercedes, RHP

Class A Everett

  • Brian Wu, RHP
  • Logan Reinhart, RHP
  • Jimmy Joyce, RHP
  • Michael Morales, RHP
  • Sam Carlson, RHP

Class A Modesto

  • Michael Limoncelli, RHP
  • Jamie Kingsbury, RHP
  • Jordan Jackson, RHP
  • Gene Munoz, RHP
  • Yuri Tatiz, RHP

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