In recent history, pitching hasn’t really been considered the strength for the Seattle Mariners. Even back when they had guys like Randy Johnson, Freddy Garcia, and Felix Hernandez, the bats were typically what people thought of first when it came to the Mariners. Coming into the 2021 season, most people expected pitching to be more of a liability than a strength. That said, I think it’s safe to say the Mariners pitching staff outperformed expectations in 2021.
While there were ups and downs for both the starting rotation and the bullpen, both groups provided fans with some exciting moments, and in some cases, glimpses of what could be a big strength for this team moving forward. In years past, it has felt like the front office has put a big emphasis on bringing in bats to fill out the lineup, then just hope that a patchwork stable of arms can do enough to keep us in games and get us through the year.
I’m not convinced that this wasn’t their intention in 2021 as well, but the guys who were given opportunities took advantage of it (for the most part), and it resulted in a 90-win season and fantastic ROI for guys like Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider and Kendall Graveman. This article is going to take a look at some of the most exciting arms who are expected to be a part of the big league staff in the coming season, and make the case for why pitching could be the strength of the team moving forward.