Could Andres Munoz break the Mariners reliever record for strikeouts in a season?
Andres Munoz came over alongside Ty France, Luis Torrens, and Taylor Trammell in the Austin Nola trade from the San Diego Padres. Ever since making it to the big league club, all he’s done is strike people out. Just 30 games into the season, an idea popped into my head. Could Munoz break the Mariners single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever?
First, I needed to go find out what it was. We don’t have to go too far back to find the answer, as it was actually set by Edwin Diaz back in 2018, the season before the Mariners traded him to the Mets. He would strike out 124 in 73.1 innings that year, for a mark of 15.22 K/9.
Andres Munoz, if he throws enough innings, will have a great shot at breaking Diaz’s mark for K’s in a single season
The Mariners are 30 games into the season. Munoz has thrown in just 9.1 innings so far, but struck out 18 batters, good for a rate of 17.36 K/9. That’s a lot higher than Diaz’s rate, which is good since he is on pace to finish with a lot fewer innings. If they keep using him at the same rate, he’s only going to get to about 50.1 innings, which would get him to about 97 K’s. That’s plenty short…
So, how many more innings would he need to throw? How many more outings would he need?
Andres Munoz has been in 10 games through the 30 the Mariners have played. That’s just 33%. Let’s bump that to 40% of the remaining games. 53 more games is what he would end up in, pushing him to 63 on the season. It would leave him just shy, at 122 Ks.
You know what though? I actually think that as the weather warms up, Munoz is going to strike out even more batters. With all the cold weather that the Mariners have dealt with so far, you could argue that he is going to keep the velocity up and be more effective as the weather heats up. I’m not saying he gets to anything like 20 K/9, as that would be insane. But just bumping it to an even 18 K/9 is a tiny increase.
That would get him to 124 K’s, tying Diaz’s record. I don’t think it’s crazy to say he appears in 60-66 games, as Sewald, Steckenrider, and Misiewicz all did that in 2021. There is a chance that he gets there, especially as he gets more comfortable in the majors. Remember, he only has 33 innings thrown in the majors in his entire career!
Yes, it’s true that the K/9 could go down. It’s a crazy high rate. However, when you’re pumping 100+ (He set the team record at 102.8 mph) and flashing nasty sliders, it can make for a disgusting combo.
Andres Munoz is dirty, and we all know it. He’s got a real chance to break the single-season Mariners record for strikeouts in a season, and I’m looking forward to watching more games with Munoz mowing hitters down.