The Athletic ranked starting pitchers from "just a guy" to "Inner Circle", where did the Mariners come in?

The Athletic ranked starting pitchers from "just a guy" to "Inner Circle", where did the Mariners trio of studs come in?

Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners
Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
2 of 4

#19: Logan Gilbert: Ranking 75 - 6 applicant votes - Rated a 63 last season

This means he almost made it to the "one day might be aces" group. He still sits in the #2s and #3s group, with a high floor but possibly a lower ceiling. I think a lot of Mariners fans think that this is the group that he should be in. If you are looking solely at 2023, then he was definitely the #3 on the Mariners, as Kirby and Castillo battled for the Cy Young all the way into September before finally faltering late in the season.

A bit of a spoiler here, but you see that last season rating at the end, there? Well, if you go back to these rankings from a year ago, Gilbert was just a touch ahead of Kirby. Both of them have increased, but it's worth noting that many people still don't have Gilbert that far behind Kirby. Being an innings eater is huge in today's game, and that's one of the skills that Gilbert is showing, making each and every start over the last two seasons.

I also want to point out the applicant's votes. 30% of the voters have Gilbert as holding applicant status, meaning that at some point in the future, they see him as a true Ace. I'm a Gilbert homer, but I think it makes sense. With a 3.47 ERA over the last two seasons, eating innings, and improving his walk rate, the makings are there. If Gilbert can increase that K rate a bit, say to the 9.7 mark he had as a rookie, that would put him in the top 15 in strikeouts.

A 3.20 ERA (his second season), a 0.9 HR rate (second season), a 1.7 BB rate (third season), a 1.075 WHIP (third season), and a 9.7 K rate (rookie season)? Hmmm... those look Ace-worthy to me.