Yes, the 2023 season didn't end how we wanted it to for the Seattle Mariners. However, there are still a handful of things to be happy about from this year. Let's dive in and take a look at 5 things that we can be happy about from this year's Mariners.
Mariners Bright Spot #1: The Pitching Staff
In his very first start of the season, Robbie Ray tore his flexor tendon and underwent Tommy John surgery, sidelining him for the entirety of the year. In early June, Marco Gonzales was placed on the IL with a forearm strain that later developed into full-blown nerve issues in his forearm, requiring season-ending surgery. At the trade deadline, the Mariners traded closer Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks for two replacement-level players and an infield prospect.
Despite losing two of their most experienced starters and one of their best relievers, the young arms in the Mariners system stepped up in a big way, salvaging what might've been a disastrous season. Bryce Miller got off to an electric start, breaking MLB records for fewest baserunners allowed (eight) and lowest WHIP (0.42) in his first three outings totaling 15 innings or more. He eventually regressed but became a valuable innings eater at the back of the rotation, posting a 4.32 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 131.1 innings.
Ranked as the #4 prospect at the beginning of the year by FanGraphs, Bryan Woo met expectations by pitching to a 4.21 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 87.2 innings. He flashed some of his incredible potential by posting a 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over 16 innings in August and at just 23 years old, he's only going to get better.
Andrés Muñoz took over the closer role and didn't see too much regression despite the increase in pressure. His 1.93 ERA in August was good enough to earn him AL Reliever of the Month and despite a shaky finish to the year, proved his ability to get saves when needed.
Other bullpen names like Justin Topa and Matt Brash were also spectacular along with the big three starters - Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert. All in all, the Seattle Mariners had the third best ERA in MLB at 3.74, fourth best starter ERA at 3.89, and fourth best reliever ERA at 3.48. It's clear that the Mariners have some of the best arms in baseball, top to bottom.