It is hard to put what Matt Brash accomplished this past year. If anything, he was the team’s poster child for grit and overcoming adversity. A 24-year-old starter with two of the most dominant off-speed pitches in the game broke from Peoria as the 5th starter. Fans quickly fell in love with his upper 90’s fastball, knuckle-curve, and gyroball slider. The league was another story as Brash showed promise, but also struggled with commanding the strike zone against major league hitters.
The flamethrowing Canadian was sent down to Tacoma in early May to refine his approach as a reliever, which turned out as one of the best moves of the season.
For 2022, Mariners RP Matt Brash gets a grade of B
In a turn that symbolized the grind and dedication of this 2022 Seattle Mariners team, Brash would return to the bullpen on July 9th and steadily gain the trust of Manager, Scott Servais. Early in the season, the team had a Casey Sadler sized void in the pen. Matt Brash became the 2022 version of Sadler.
He spent nearly two months learning pitch sequencing, refining his pitches, and brought a reliever’s mentality back to Seattle. Additionally, all his pitches gained velocity with his fastball jumping to 100 miles per hour. These developments transformed Brash into a nearly unhittable coming out of the pen for the Los Bomberos commanding the zone and striking out batters at a 39.9% clip.
Sabermetrics followers point to his high revolutions per minute on the slider as a differentiating factor (2958 RPMS), but the fact is Brash always had this kind of performance in him. He just needed a reset and a launching point to unlock his potential. Plus, he had arguably the coolest play of the year.
Originally, a player to be named later in the Taylor Williams trade in 2020 (with San Diego) and now a big piece of the Mariner’s future for the next five years.