There are a couple of fun arguments to have as a Mariners fan. One is Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo? We've gone over that a bit already, and it won't be the focus for today. The other one that is fun to have is Matt Brash or Andres Munoz? They are both dominating relievers with nasty stuff who haven't even gotten to their primes yet.
Munoz has a bit more experience, but Brash turned in a better season in 2023. It wasn't just a good season, either, it was one of the best seasons by any reliever in all of baseball as Brash ended up posting a top-5 WAR mark for relievers. Could he do the same thing in 2024?
Steamer thinks Matt Brash is going to dominate in 2024
I'm sort of giving up on WAR right now in the STEAMER projections. Brash is only projected for a mark of 0.8 in the upcoming season, which might make you think that his projections aren't that great when you realize that 2.1WAR that he had last season. It's not the case though, as they have him putting up truly impressive numbers.
63 IP, 7 SV, 11.73 K/9, 3.83 BB/9, 0.82 HR/9, .289 BABIP, 1.18 WHIP, .208 BAA, 3.00 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 0.8 WAR
Those are all pretty good numbers, and are mostly in line with what he did last year. The K/9 is down quite a bit, to the tune of 25 fewer strikeouts than last season. He had one of the best marks for any reliever in Mariners history with 107, but they have him down to 82 next year.
The homeruns stand out from a percentage increase standpoint, but i don't know that its wild to proclaim the jump from 0.38 to 0.82. 0.38 is a crazy low mark, and he only gave up three last year. Keeping it under 1 HR/9 would still be a fantastic season.
The stat for Brash that I think most needs to be watched is his BABIP, or Batting Average on Balls In Play. He had some of the worst luck in baseball for most of the season last year, sitting over .450 after the All Star break. League average is around .290-.295. He still finished the season at .370, meaning that 1 in 13 hits that should've been caught ended up going for a hit that shouldn't have. It may not seem like a lot, but when you face over 300 hitters, it adds up.
If we can get another season of Brash like those numbers posited above, then I think we are in for a nasty combo of Brash and Munoz once again, and it should lead to a great finish to most games in the 8th and 9th inning.