3 takeaways from Luis Castillo's STEAMER projections for 2024

Luis Castillo leads the Mariners rotation. Let's check out some of the numbers that jump out from his 2024 STEAMER projections
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

I really enjoy the offseason for baseball. With how many players and teams there are, plus the plethora of minor leaguers, there are stats upon stats to parse through. Sure, the offseason can seem long and slow on the signings side, but it still flies by when you spend a lot of time checking out projections and stats.

That's where we come to today. We will be going through STEAMER projections for the Mariners, picking out some stats that pop out, whether they seem right on or seem off a bit. We start with the Mariners Ace, Luis Castillo. But first, remember that projections are cautious by nature, and understandably so.

#1: Ks are down and walks are up

Since coming to Seattle, Castillo has posted a K rate of 10.16 and a BB rate of 2.50. That fits in line when you look at the focus that Mariners pitchers have on controlling the zone, paired with Cal Raleigh's about average framing behind the plate. STEAMER has him at 9.51 and 2.71. It may not seem like a ton, but comes out to a 14 K difference and 5 walks. I just don't see both numbers moving like that. Either Castillo continues to strike out guys at a higher clip, or pounds the zone more and the walks drop.

#2: They project his second-highest ERA in 5 years

The only defense I can see here is Castillo's FIP last year, which was a lot higher than it had been in the past. He had a 2.91 in 2022 but a 3.81 in 2023. STEAMER projects him to have a 3.60 ERA and 3.77 FIP next season, which seem high. He's been a 3.29 ERA since coming to Seattle, and it makes sense that it would stay around there pitching in such a pitcher's park, and not the bandbox that was the Reds Stadium. Out of all his stats, this is the one I don't agree with.

#3: A full season and a 3.4 WAR makes sense

They project Castillo out to a full season, going 195 innings, putting him a touch over 6 IP per start. Perfect. He's your ace, and should be pushing 200 IP. The 197 last year was a career high, but his final few years in Cinci were a bit odd with COVID and limiting him to keep the trade value high. The 3.4 WAR would be his 4th best season, but makes sense from a cautionary standpoint. I look at that, as a fan, and instantly bump it by 25% or so to get a optimistic guesstimate, pushing it to around 4.2, which would tie his career high. It's what would've happened last year if he finished the year strong.

STEAMER still has Castillo doing well this year, sitting at T-15th for WAR. That 4.2 projection would bump him all the way to 4th, showing how crowded the top of the estimates are. Castillo is set for another good season, and that's hope he finishes strong.

Full STEAMER projections

Luis Castillo: 12-11, 195 IP, 3.60 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 9.51 K/9, 2.71 BB/9, 1.12 HR/9, .289 BABIP, 3.4 WAR