A Belated Goodbye and Thank You to Three Pitchers who left the Mariners after 2022!
By Christine Navarro
Just before the 2023 Regular Season starts, one last thank you and farewell to 2022 pitchers who moved on!
While Seattle is not a sunny, warm paradise by any means, several of our pitchers left for teams in colder places: Toronto and Detroit. The Mariners traded RHP Erik Swanson and LHP Adam Macko to the Blue Jays for Teoscar Hernández, and LHP Matt Boyd signed a one-year contract with the Tigers.
Erik Swanson (RHP) will be comfortable with the cold as he grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. The Texas Rangers selected Swanson in 2014 from Iowa Western Community College. He played on the Rangers’ minor league teams through 2016, went to the Yankees for two plus years, and came to Seattle in 2019. This past year, Swanson pitched 53.2 innings in 57 games with an ERA of 1.68.
He threw a 4-seam fastball 55 percent, a splitter, 25 percent, and a slider, 20 percent of the time. His fastball reached 93.6 miles per hour. Batters had a .185 batting average for his fastball and a .129 for his splitter. Nice! Thank you for being such a valuable member of Los Bomberos and contributing to the drought-breaking season! Now that the Mariners will play against you, the batters will be prepared!
Adam Macko (LHP) hails from Slovakia but moved to Ireland and then Alberta, Canada. The Mariners drafted Macko in 2019 from Vauxhall High School in Vauxhall, Alberta. In 2022, he played for the Aquasox and then for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. This year, it looks like Macko may be playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Toronto’s AA team, either as a starter or in the bullpen. Toronto did not bring him to Spring Training.
Teo Hernández reports that the Blue Jays team is a great group of guys which we hope is a good place for Swanson. Hopefully, the positive sense of community trickles down to the minor leagues and creates a special experience for Macko too.
Matt Boyd (LHP) returned to the Detroit Tigers where he played from 2015-2021. He will pitch as part of the Tigers’ starting rotation. He did not begin pitching for Seattle until September 2022 as he had undergone flexor tendon surgery. He pitched 8 innings in Tacoma and 13.1 innings for the Mariners last Fall. During his time with Seattle, he had an ERA of 1.35, struck out an average of one batter per inning, was an important member of the Bomberos, and, like Erik Swanson, a drought-buster. He gave a moving interview about what it meant for him to be part of the Mariners team going to the playoffs. He grew up in the Seattle area and was a Mariners’ fan.
After the Mariners had three pitchers named Matt last season, I decided to see how many other pitching Matts were in MLB. The total was five. The Mariners had 60 percent of the pitchers named Matt last year and are down to 40 percent with Matt Brash and Matt Festa. I have a positive association with Matts because of them.
Since Toronto and Detroit are American League teams, the Seattle Mariners will have the opportunity to play against Swanson and Boyd. Three pitchers departed from the Mariners. We are grateful for their contributions. May they have a great year, personally and professionally, in 2023!