We've talked about some of the happy and exciting moments this season for the Mariners, but it's important to take a look back at some of the ones that shaped the season in a negative manner as well. Here are some of the lowlights from the Mariners 2023 season.
1. Robbie Ray Goes Down for the Season
The Mariners pitching staff took a lot of unfortunate hits this year. Marco Gonzales was shut down in June after he required surgery to fix a compressed nerve in his forearm. Penn Murfee was off to a great start but required UCL surgery at the start of the summer, ending his season prematurely. Promising prospects Emerson Hancock and Easton McGee barely got their feet wet before also being sidelined with similar arm issues.
But the most integral piece the team lost to injury was probably Robbie Ray. Most people's opinions on Ray depend on how often they think of his catastrophic relief appearance in the first game of the 2022 ALDS, but he's still an integral part of the team's rotation.
Brought on following his exceptional Cy Young season in 2021, Ray's 2022 wasn't the season Mariners fans were hoping for. Originally brought on to be the team's ace, he didn't quite live up to the five-year, $115M contract to which he was signed but he was effective nonetheless. He posted a 3.71 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 189 innings pitched. More importantly, he was one of two left-handed starters, the other being Marco Gonzales.
Ray didn't even have a chance to earn redemption for his last pitching appearance in 2022. He pitched just 3.1 innings in 2023, giving up three earned runs in his only showing against the Cleveland Guardians. Had he been healthy for the entirety of the season, there's a good chance he would've made consistent quality starts and given the Mariners a few more wins than they ultimately had.