The more that I think about it, the more I firmly believer that Jerry Dipoto and Justin Hollander are doing a really good job running this team as the Mariners Front Office. Maybe that seems like an odd way to start this article, but Luis Castillo is the reason for that thought process.
Ever since the Mariners acquired him back at the 2022 trade deadline, it was another step by D&H to do everything they could to make this team better with the limited constraints handed down to them by ownership. Luis Castillo has done nothing but impress since getting to the Mariners, and I think the Wild Card game against the Toronto Blue Jays stands out in fans' minds as one of the best moments in the last 20 years. Well, that and the other game from that series that wasn't exciting whatsoever.
What can we expect in 2024, though? Luis Castillo was having one of the best seasons on the mound in 2023 until September hit. Shoot, it really wasn't until the last two outings of the season that his numbers drastically changed. He had a 3.06 ERA up to that point, and even with the bad outings, he is still repping a 3.29 ERA since joining the Mariners.
Luis Castillo might just win the Cy Young in 2024
Currently, Castillo is sitting around 5th for the Cy Young odds in 2024, bumping down after the Orioles acquired Corbin Burnes. If memory recalls correctly, he was all the way up to 2nd/3rd when the calendar changed from August to September last year, sitting only behind eventual winner Gerrit Cole.
When it comes to 2024, it all depends on where you look for projected stats. You could use Fangraphs, you could use Baseball Reference... the list goes on and on. Instead, I'm going to make an amalgam of what I've seen online as well as my own feelings. Here is what I think we can expect from Luis Castillo in 2024.
I think we will see another healthy season from Castillo, whose injury history looks worse than it actually is due to them being cautious with him while they were trying to preserve his trade value back in Cinci. He strikes out more hitters than last year but falls just short of his career high of 226. If not for a single rough outing in... early June, Castillo would hit 200 innings.
Is that enough to win the Cy Young? I think it's close, but he ends up falling just short of winning it, finishing 3rd in voting. However, it's a crazy good season, going down as the second-best one that we have ever seen from him behind the 5.2 WAR season he had back in 2019. He will put up a 4.6 WAR, as he leads the way for the Mariners as the first starter in their rotation... even if he might not have the best season. Check back to see if we think George Kirby will have a better 2024 than Luis Castillo.