Reason #3: Full season with the pitching staff
Heading into 2022, the Mariners had added Robbie Ray to the staff. Personally, I was super excited for that as I've always been a big fan of his. While he didn't do as well as some hoped, he still had a solid year. Logan Gilbert was coming off his rookie season, and we were expecting George Kirby to come in at some point. We still had Flexen and Marco as starters, and the memory of 2021 bullpen starts were fresh and scary in our memories.
Post 2022, we just had one of the healthiest seasons possible. Chances are that won't happen, but we now have multiple guys who can fill out the back end of the rotation, with six solid options to pitch.
This rotation looks scary as it is, regardless of who throws in that fifth spot. It doesn't matter to me if its Chris Flexen or Marco Gonzales, but I think they would both be great options for that spot. That is, if they are both still here.
Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby. That's nasty. We have Robbie Ray with less pressure to lead the rotation, Gilbert with a full season under his belt, and Kirby with the rookie season out of the way. It's a great setup, and one of the best top fours in baseball.
2023 is definitely looking up, and between the lineup, the staff, and the drought being broken, it should be a great year to be a Mariners fan!