Steamer Projections for Relief Pitcher Andrés Muñoz in 2023: Why not better?

Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

While I am certainly not qualified to judge a widely used model to predict future pitching performance, my amateur opinion is that Andrés Muñoz deserves some higher statistical predictions for 2023. He has excellent statistics from 2022 and will have a healed foot after surgery.

This coming year, Muñoz will be 24 years old, early in his pitching career. It will be his fourth year in the major leagues. Muñoz spent his first season with the Padres. He spent the last two with the Mariners though he spent a good deal of time recovering from surgery during the 2021 season.

The Steamer projections assume that Muñoz will pitch 65 innings, the same number as in 2022. Steamer predicts that Muñoz’s number of strikeouts percentage over nine innings will drop slightly. He will walk one more batter over nine innings and his home run numbers will slightly increase. But, have you seen this man pitch? He gets ready to release the ball and it seems to invisibly arrive in the catcher's mitt. I do not see any statistics dropping.

According to the Steamer projections, Muñoz will improve in the win/loss category with 4 wins and 2 losses, 10 saves, and 10 holds. He will allow 44 hits in 65 innings. He will have 13.22 strikeouts and 3.03 (hard to visualize the .03 part) on base per nine innings, and an earned run average (ERA) of 2.4 per inning. They assign him a WAR of 1.3.

Steamer says that Muñoz will strike out 95 batters and that 22 batters will end up on base. This will leave him with a walk and hit per inning (WHIP) ratio of 1.01, which will be the lowest of the Mariners’ pitchers as well as the fourth lowest for all MLB pitchers and the third lowest for MLB relief pitchers.

Mariners’ fans appreciated the contributions that the Bomberos made to the season’s successes. Fangraphs predicts that four of the Mariners’ relief pitchers will be in the top 100 of MLB relief pitchers: Muñoz, Sewald, Festa, and Brash.

I will be interested to see how the season unfolds for Muñoz and hope that he exceeds the Steamer expectations. He is amazing!