Mariners starter being projected to lead MLB in ERA is another positive sign for deep rotation

MLB.com recently put out an article projection 12 stat leaders for the 2024 season. One Seattle Mariner made the list, and their Ace is projected to top in ERA

Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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In this article by MLB.com, you would suspect someone like Julio Rodriguez to be in it. Between all the numbers he puts up and how he is expected to be better in year three, he seems driven to take another step in 2024 from 2023. I would not be surprised by the end of 2024 if he was leading one of the stat categories mentioned. That is not the case though in this article by MLB.com, you have your usual's like Ronald Acuna (HR), Shohei Ohtani (RBI), Yordan Alvarez (SLG), and Juan Soto (OBP) but no Julio. But there was one Mariner that was mentioned and he is projected to lead the MLB in ERA.

ERA of 3.27: Luis Castillo

This seems like a pretty cautious projection for the ERA leader in 2024. in 2023 an ERA of 3.27 would have finished 11th, just ahead of Merrill Kelly (3.29) and behind Logan Webb (3.25) and 2 spots ahead of 2023 Luis Castillo (3.34), and well below where Castillo was with a couple of starts left in the season.

The 2024 Luis Castillo projection also would have been almost a whole run higher than the MLB ERA leader and NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell (2.25). Don't get me wrong, it is awesome to see Mariners players get recognition but I doubt a 3.27 ERA will get it done for Luis Castillo.

I also wouldn't count out other Mariners like George Kirby and Logan Gilbert as they continue to mature as MLB pitchers. I would think a sub-3 ERA would be needed to lead the MLB in ERA in 2024 as there were 5 starting pitchers in the MLB with an ERA under 3 in 2023. Whoever it is in 2024, I think one of the 3 Mariners starters I mentioned has a chance to lead the MLB in ERA.