This is going to be a two-part article. We've been going through our report cards, and have already had a couple of them come out. If you're curious about a release schedule, it's going to be pitching and then hitting. We do need to pause and take a look at the team as a whole, and are going to do that through two viewpoints.
The second one is going to be the one put together by the fine folks here at Sodo Mojo. Before we get to that, we are going to take a minute to see what the fans (at least the ones online) had to say about the season. We asked, and these were the results from votes from over 1,100 people.
It was a decent breakdown, but you can see that the majority of fans felt like it was a "passing" season, but definitely not a successful one. Unfortunately, Twitter only allows you four options, otherwise we would've broken it out more. Still, with over half of you thinking that the Mariners earned a C grade for the 2023 season, it's obvious how most people feel.
The majority of people were commenting something along those lines. The Mariners struggled, they could've done better, but it's not like it was a bad season. They still went 88-74. Marco, Robbie Ray, and Flexen were brought up as well, and the fact that the Mariners struggled with that big loss of depth (that's three of your top 6 starters, essentially), and had to rely on youth to perform in their place.
Bringing up Teo and Wong is a good point as well. Teo had rough patches, but still finished with a good season. Not great, but good. 2.1 WAR. You wanted more, but it's a lot better than what we've seen in the past, and he was healthy as well. Wong was a really good player for a long stretch of time. If the Mariners could've gotten his average production, they make the playoffs. Seriously. The Mariners had a 2.1 fWAR this season at second, and Wong averaged 3.5 on baseball reference. That's the win they needed, without getting into how value-negative Wong was while he was here.
I really like a handful of the comments above. About it being a borderline B-/C+ season, and next year being essentially a boom or bust for the front office. Also, the one comparing it to the average Mariners season, it's a B, but with expectations, it's a C. That makes a lot of sense.
Sure, there were a lot of you who called it a failure or an F grade, but that's just ridiculous. Losing out on the playoffs and division title in Game 161 isn't a failure. It isn't what you want, obviously, but it isn't an F-grade failure. Getting into the realm of "playoffs or bust" or even more specifically "World Series or it's a failure" is a very dangerous game to play, and can lead to a lot of sad/angry evenings as a fan.
The majority of you had the Mariners with a C, with B coming in second place. Somewhere in that High-C/low B range sounds like the consesus, and it's hard to argue that Grade for the 2023 Mariners.