Seattle Mariners 2024 – Updates, Preview & Projections

From the highest of highs in the Fall of 2022 with Cal Raleigh’s slump-busting, big-dumping, playoff-clinching home run and sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card, to missing out on postseason play by one game in September 2023, and after all the early offseason scrutiny of the front office, the Seattle Mariners are (almost) officially back – as they are tuning and gearing up for Opening Day 2024 in just over three weeks.

This offseason has seen President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto explain to an upset Mariners’ fan base his ultimate goal on a certain winning percentage in future seasons, an uptick subscription in Xfinity/ROOT-viewing prices, and moves of Outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Teoscar Hernandez, LHPs Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales, and Third Baseman Eugenio Suarez. A salary dump of all salary dumps…

Then Dipoto and the rest of the front office replied with some transactions which put M’s fans more at ease… with acquisitions of DH/Catcher Mitch Garver, Outfielders Luke Raley and Mitch Haniger, Second Baseman Jorge Polanco, and RHP Gregory Santos.

On today, Wednesday March 6th, the Seattle Mariners have played in 11 Cactus League Spring Training games and have won just two. Take that with what you will, as the pitching has looked shaky out of the gate, but the offense seems to be off to a solid start. Again… it’s Spring Training. Oh, and the new Fanatics MLB jerseys look worse than fan giveaway merch from a JUCO team.

On the topic of pitching, there’s been somewhat of a concern for the bullpen, more specifically two of Seattle’s sought out high-leverage guys. RHP Matt Brash, who led Seattle with 78 relief appearances in 2023, had a scare with tightness in his right-throwing elbow. Season-ending Tommy John surgery has been ruled out (source: literally, Matt Brash), but the righty with the wickedest slider in all of baseball does not look like he will be set to go March 28th as Seattle will host the Boston Red Sox in the opening series of the regular season.

On Tuesday, Brash played some catch from up-to 60 feet for right around 25 throws.

“I was really curious how it was going to feel out there, but felt good. Obviously 60 feet or whatever is nothing crazy, but I was happy to be back on the field,” Brash told The Seattle Times.

Seattle Mariners Photo Day

Matt Brash looks to come back 100% healthy at some point early in the 2024 MLB season.Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Flame-throwing righty Gregory Santos has been dealing with a nagging lat injury since the start of camp, but has been throwing up to 150 feet as of Tuesday. The 24-year-old struck out 66 in 66.1 innings last year for the Chicago White Sox. Santos, barring any setbacks, should have time to ramp all the way up – but it may be closer than originally hoped after he was acquired in early-February.

Heavily-projected American League MVP Julio Rodriguez made his Cactus League ST debut after a bit of a delay as he waited for his left hand to get back to 100%. The back-to-back American League Silver Slugger had two hits and a walk on Tuesday. Seattle’s second-coming of Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr. has his eyes set on the prize for season three of the J-Rod Show.

Seattle Mariners Photo Day

23-year-old Julio Rodriguez looks to carry the load for his team in hopes of returning to the postseason come October.Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

When it comes to the farm, Seattle has three prospects in the list of the top-100 in the sport. Those are 20-year-old SS/2B Cole Young (#37, MLB-ETA: 2025), 21-year-old Catcher Harry Ford (#38, MLB-ETA: 2025), and 18-year-old SS/2B Colt Emerson (#87, MLB-ETA: 2026). Following those young men, projections have Seattle’s #8 prospect First Baseman Tyler Locklear, #10 prospect Outfielder Jonatan Clase and #12 prospect 2B/SS Ryan Bliss as the next three to make their debut at some point throughout the Spring-Fall of 2024.

The opening day starting nine projects to something like this – with 2024 statistic projections italicized from ZiPS, which is widely regarded as one of the most accurate predictors in the industry:

  • 1. SS J.P. Crawford (.254 BA/.347 OBP/.376 SLG)
    • Career-highs in HR, BB, RBI in ‘23
  • 2. CF Julio Rodriguez (.274 BA/.335 OBP/.489 SLG)
    • #4 in AL MVP voting following a 32 HR/37 SB ’23 season
  • 3. 2B Jorge Polanco (.242 BA/.316 OBP/.422 SLG)
    • Having played in just 80 games in ’23, Polanco hit .255 with 14 HRs
  • 4. DH Mitch Garver (.232 BA/.328 OBP/.420 SLG)
    • 2023 World Series champion with the Texas Rangers - 344 PAs resulted in a .270 BA
  • 5. Catcher Cal Raleigh (.231 BA/.299 OBP/.456 SLG)
    • Career-high 30 HR in 569 PAs
  • 6. 1B Ty France (.265 BA/.341 OBP/.403 SLG)
    • .250 BA in ’23 – looking to rebound and replicate ’22 All-Star season. A certain baseball-training facility down in Kent, WA may play a pivotal part in that
  • 7. OF Luke Raley (.232 BA/.318 OBP/.411 SLG)
    • 2023: 19 HR in 406 PAs - had just 262 PAs combined in career prior
  • 8. OF Mitch Haniger (.231 BA/.301 OBP/.417 SLG) or Dominic Canzone (.245 BA/.298 OBP/.431 SLG)
  • 9. 3B Josh Rojas (.224 BA/.297 OBP/.346 SLG) or Luis Urias (.236 BA/.327 OBP/.393 SLG)

As for the starting pitching rotation…

  • 1. RHP Luis Castillo (3.26 ERA, 202 K)
    • ’23 All-Star, 219 SOs over 197 IP
  • 2. RHP Logan Gilbert (3.50 ERA, 176 K)
    • 13 wins, 3.85 ERA in ‘23
  • 3. RHP George Kirby (3.48 ERA, 169 K)
    • 9.05 K/BB - ranked #1 in MLB in ‘23
  • 4.RHP Bryce Miller (3.87 ERA, 116 K)
    • 8.2 SO/9 in Rookie ’23 season
  • 5.RHP Bryan Woo (4.11 ERA, 118 K)
    • 9.5 SO/9 in Rookie ’23 season

And finally, the bullpen, (includes players on 40-man roster as of 3/6)…

  • RHP Maurico Llovera (4.11 ERA, 34 K)
  • RHP Jackson Kowar (4.69 ERA, 48 K)
  • RHP Carlos Vargas (4.31 ERA, 44 K)
  • RHP Austin Voth (4.50 ERA, 47 K)
  • RHP Trent Thornton (4.25 ERA, 48 K)
  • LHP Tayler Saucedo (4.09 ERA, 54 K)
  • RHP Emerson Hancock (4.56 ERA, 58 K)
  • *RHP Matt Brash (3.27 ERA, 73 K)
  • LHP Gabe Speier (3.63 ERA, 60 K)
  • *RHP Gregory Santos (3.54 ERA, 63 K)
  • RHP Andres Munoz (3.00 ERA, 81 K)

Any and all projected starters at the big-league level are subject to change in the coming weeks.

On paper, the 2024 Seattle Mariners look to have improved, but only time will tell… Who’s ready?

Looking for extra content to get ready for baseball’s return? Ranging from January – Mid-February, Seattle’s Sports Leader 93.3 KJR-FM’s Chuck Powell (Co-host of Chuck & Buck in the Morning) & Anderson Hirst (Producer – Ian Furness Show, Seattle Kraken Audio Network) talked all things ball on “Stove”, where they covered topics about the Seattle Mariners' offseason acquisitions, projections and grades. You can listen to all of the good stuff here on iHeart or wherever you get your podcasts:

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