The Mariners head into 2024 on the heels of a disappointing season. A team that was expected to contend for an American League playoff spot, if not a division title, found themselves with question marks after the season ended in disappointment. Luckily the team has many bright spots that provided hope for the 2023 team. A strong rotation led by Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert provides the Mariners a contenders chance alone based on their top three starting pitchers.
George Kirby has come on strong and proved to be a solid, if not an ace the Mariners had hoped to develop in the Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker years when Seattle fans dreamed of the trio forming a three-headed monster in the pitching staff. Making his first All-Star game in 2023, George Kirby already has established himself as a front line starter teams drool over. Forming a 1-2 punch with Luis Castillo, Kirby helps form a top-end rotation that makes the rest of the league envious.
There's a theme to this article. The Seattle Mariners deploy a very strong up-the-middle team. Catcher Cal Raleigh and Shortstop J.P. Crawford solidify a Mariners team that has built themselves up the middle. JP and Cal are some of the most underrated players at their positions. The dynamic duo are team leaders and some of the most senior members of the team, providing leadership, and stability, and will be key cogs in the future success of the Seattle Mariners heading into 2024.
The Mariners are built up the middle, with very talented and proven players at 80% of the positions. With a generational talent in Julio Rodriguez manning centerfield, a unicorn catcher that has defense and power, along with being a switch hitter, a deep starting rotation built around George Kirby, Luis Castillo, and Logan Gilbert, not to mention the top tier prospects and Robbie Ray coming back at the All-Star break, The Mariners are ready to compete. The only question is if a combination of Josh Rojas, Luis Urias, and Dylan Moore can push that 80% number to 100%.