Mariners Bryce Miller enters the pitching lab

25-year-old hurler follows George Kirby and Logan Gilbert's lead in adding to his pitch mix this offseason.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages

Contrary to popular belief, it's not all doom and gloom in Mariner land. Yes, the team bowed out early on the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes ($700M, yikes!). They attached Jarred Kelenic to a package to offload more than $20M in effectively dead salary. They also shipped fan favorite Eugenio Suarez and his league-leading strikeouts to Arizona for a defensive first backstop and a high-ceiling reliever with control problems. Anyone in their right mind would be and should be livid at Mariner ownership for handcuffing Jerry Dipoto and Justin Hollander with what looks like a minuscule budget.

Bryce Miller just came out in our players rankings as well, coming in at #9 after a strong rookie season. Could more improvements be on the way for Miller?

Well, I'm here to offer a ray of sunshine in a gloomy offseason via a non-descript X post that made the rounds last night.

What's that? It's Bryce Miller, one of the Mariners' top trade chips in the pitching lab, learning how to throw a splitter. As the 2023 campaign progressed, adding another offspeed pitch to his toolbox became imperative - mainly because hitters were adjusting to Miller's high RPM fastball. There is no doubt Miller's first month in the show was dynamic.

However, his Baseball Savant page is littered with what most folks would call "blue" or opportunity areas: a 42% hard-hit rate and a 90.7 exit velocity. These two numbers paint a picture of a hurler who needs a secondary pitch to get opposing hitters off the fastball. Enter the splitter. If Miller comes to Peoria with a honed and developed splitter in his back pocket, it's a game-changer. We could see a George Kirby-sized sophomore jump for the lanky Texan. Let's hope he's in a Mariners uniform when it happens.