3 Potential Award Candidates for the Mariners in 2023
Mariners Cy Young Candidate: Luis Castillo
Now, if we fast forward a year, I think we would likely be shifting toward one of his teammates here. Logan Gilbert is coming off a darn good 2022 season, and many believe that George Kirby is the next pitcher in the mold of Greg Maddux and Cliff Lee. If Gilbert can keep getting better or Kirby proves himself worthy of picking up that title, it'll be a different conversation for sure.
Instead, we now focus on Castillo.
Projecting him out for 192 innings doesn't seem like a stretch. He's thrown full seasons a few times already, and that puts him at 6 innings an outing. He had a 10.6 K/9 with the Mariners last year, which is in line with 2019 and 2020, barely the lowest of the three years. With a 2.91 FIP and a .302 BABIP, I could see him doing even better than the 3.17 ERA he posted once he got to Seattle.
2023 - 192 IP, 2.51 ERA, 226 K, 15 W, 1.045 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 17 HR
Would it be enough? I think it definitely would get him in the conversation for Cy Young. Sure, maybe the numbers are optimistic, but he has the stuff and the ceiling to get there. If he does, I'd think it would be a big part of getting the Mariners back to the playoffs, and that many would look to him as the leader of the staff that got them there. That would further increase his sway and importance in voters' eyes.