Mariners Prediction #1: Luis Castillo Cy Young
When Luis Castillo came to the Mariners, most fans had thoughts in the same frame of mind. Sure, we had gotten Robbie Ray, a former Cy Young winner, but he was viewed as a low-end one or a great number two. He was even paid as such with his 5YR/$110M deal. Getting Luis Castillo, though, meant that we had someone with bonafide Ace potential.
He pitched great in 2022 after the Mariners got him. A 3.17 ERA and a 2.91 FIP was exactly what we were looking for, and he topped it off with an utterly dominant performance against the Blue Jays to open the playoffs. He even pitched well against the Astros, despite a late homer to Mariners-killer Yordan Alvarez.
2023, so far, has been special. After seeing Logan Gilbert set team records for lowest ERA in April, Castillo did his best to try and top it. Luis Castillo can't get there, but his April has been incredibly impressive through his first four starts. 11 hits, 4 walks, 24.2 IP, 26 Ks, and just two Earned Runs. His last start was perfect through 6, and that's not conjecture. It took a flare from Andrus to break it up in the 7th inning.
I'm not saying that Castillo keeps up a 0.73 ERA for the entire season. This isn't MLB The Show. Let's say that he makes 28 more starts, averages 6 innings a start, bumps up to last seasons K rate, and pitches to a 2.79 ERA (53 runs in 168 innings). That would see him finish up with 224 Ks in 192.2 IP, with an ERA of 2.52. That seems Cy Young worthy to me.