Matt Brash Deserves a Starting Rotation Opportunity in 2022
Through the 2021 season, no Seattle Mariners prospect has raised eyebrows quite like 23-year old Matt Brash. Acquired by the Mariners in a deal that sent Taylor Williams to San Diego last August, Brash has blossomed in the Mariners organization. And last week he was the Double-A Central Pitcher of the Week.
Brash has been nothing short of dominant with Arkansas in Double-A, posting a 2.32 FIP and an astounding 14.11 K/9. His breaking stuff is nasty, his command is steadily improving and he’s flashing the ability to be a legitimate major league starter.
Matt Brash should be given the opportunity to compete for the Mariners fifth starter role next year.
Three of the spots seem to be all but cemented in the M’s rotation for 2022. There should be no qualms that Chris Flexen, Logan Gilbert, and Marco Gonzales will be on the staff for next year. And personally, I think bringing back Tyler Anderson is an absolute no-brainer at this point, at least for a year.
It should be noted though that if the Mariners elect to bring Yusei Kikuchi back, then this all gets thrown out the window because he will occupy that fifth slot. But Kikuchi’s second-half performance hasn’t warranted his hefty team option and at this point, Seattle probably needs to move on.
Brash also shouldn’t be by any means guaranteed the role. Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield should be given an opportunity to compete as well and it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see the team bring in a veteran on a tryout or even a cheap one-year deal.
But regardless of what the other moves look like, Brash deserves a shot. He’s dominated Double-A after dominating High-A. And the stuff looks like it could translate. Plus with a few veterans on staff, the pressure isn’t high for him to be an immediate ace.
Assuming Brash finishes the year strong and has a good spring though, there’s reason to believe he could be an effective back-end arm in the Mariner rotation next year.