Mariners Report Cards: Rookie Starters
Seattle got a huge boost from their rookie starters in 2023, and those players should continue to be an area of strength for this roster moving forward.
The Mariners’ rotation has become one of the very best in all of major league baseball, and they did it without the help of two veteran starters who have been extremely durable their entire careers. The contributions of Bryan Woo, Bryce Miller, and Emerson Hancock were invaluable to the success of the Mariners in 2023.
Those three pitchers may be the biggest key to Seattle’s success moving forward. Whether they decide to keep them or move them to gain offensive weapons, they have become impressive assets at the back end of the Mariners rotation.
Seattle got huge contributions from their starters, and these contributions happened much earlier than they had anticipated. Bryce Miller’s May 2 debut came roughly a month after the club lost 100 million dollar left-hander Robbie Ray to a flexor injury that cost him his 2023 season. Bryan Woo’s June 3 debut came on the heels of Marco Gonzales suffering a forearm injury that cost him the rest of 2023.
Both pitchers stepped in admirably in place of the veteran lefthanders. Miller was excellent in his rookie campaign, firing a career-high in innings between the minor leagues and his time in Seattle. His 131 innings in Seattle were sorely needed, and are about as much as you could ask for from a rookie.
Bryan Woo is as impressive as a young pitcher can get, especially for a kid who has hardly pitched in his lifetime. Between injuries and role/usage, Woo far surpassed his previous workloads including 87 innings in Seattle.
Emerson Hancock provided a few decent outings at the big league level and overall performed well in Arkansas before an injury ended his season.
All three players should have good trade value, as well as value to the Mariners moving forward should they decide to keep the trio.
Woo and Miller tired out big time at the end of the year, losing much of the command and effectiveness they had most of their rookie campaigns. With the injury to Hancock, Seattle didn’t have much in the way of depth down the stretch.
They were forced to turn to both pitchers earlier than they probably would have liked, meaning their workloads got heavy in crunch time at the end of the season. The Mariners didn’t have good replacement options, so the youngsters were forced to battle through fatigue and ineffectiveness as they battled for their postseason lives.
Overall the season was very good for both pitchers, but the Mariners no doubt would have preferred to not rely on them as heavily as they did.
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