Mariners Spring Training


Julio Rodriguez signaling the crowd. Photo by Steph Chambers

Deacon Tuttle, Staff Reporter

Spring is the season of renewal, but sooner than expected the Seattle Mariners got a taste of that last season with their appearance in the American League Division Series (ALDS). Snapping the infamous 21-year post-season drought, Seattle hopes for sustained success with its core of young stars, a newly play-off experienced squad and additional acquisitions. 

Let’s take a look at three narratives the Mariners have moving into spring training.

Returning Rotation and New Arms

Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert and late-season standout Luis Castillo all headline the talented pitching staff. These three played pivotal roles in the team achieving the sixth-best ERA in 2022. With Ray and Castillo being new additions to the Pacific Northwest at the beginning and the end of the season respectively, there may be only brighter days ahead. 

Jerry Dipoto said, “[Castillo is] Just phenomenal. I’m very excited to see what he will do here for a full year and really for the five years at least to come.” 

A young gun to look out for within the Mariners system is Bryce Miller. Miller is ranked number 98 on the overall MLB Pipeline prospect list.

According to Baseball America, “his fastball sits 95-97 mph, touching 100 mph at peak with excellent vertical movement. His slider is a mid-80s sweeper that generates a high rate of chase swings out of the zone, playing well off of his fastball.” 

Miller is one amongst a slew of potentially viable options that include: Prelander Berroa, Bryan Woo and Taylor Dollard.

Filling (and settling) in the gaps

According to Dipoto, in the off-season came the time to shore up gaps at right-fielder and second basemen (RF and 2B) with All-Star caliber players while also advancing the culture of the team. The goal is to improve with little to no disruption, Dipoto said.

“We thought having players with that type of experience like A.J Pollock, Tommy La Stella, Teo and Kolten Wong, it was just a big get for us to be able to bring guys in who have been there before,” Dipoto said. 

The roles that Dipoto were looking for are fulfilled with these players who have had recent success but may need slight retooling. Spring training offers time to iron out some kinks.

The Blue Jays moved on from outfielder Teoscar Hernåndez in November and will take the reins from Mitch Haniger for the Mariners. Hernåndez brings over two silver sluggers from Toronto as well as an All-Star appearance in 2021. 

Pollock signed in January on a one year deal worth $7 million and is a flexible piece in the outfield. Pollock posted a 0.245 batting average last season along with 14 home runs.

Wong is a needed replacement for Adam Frasier at second base. He is gifted on the defensive end winning two back-to-back gold gloves in 2019 and 2020, even in spite of his career-high errors (17) in 2022. 

World Series Aspirations?

The Mariners are hovering around the ninth-best odds in baseball to make a run to the World Series, at +1600. After their competitive performance going toe-to-toe with AL West rivals and reigning World Series Champions, Houston Astros, it’s not much of a surprise. 

Though Seattle was swept in the ALDS, the losses were all in close contests. The combined run differential was 13-9 in favor of Houston and involved the now infamous 18th-inning battle until the end. 

“There’s a difference between where we’ve been the last few years trying to get over that hump that ultimately we did last October,” Dipoto said. “The obvious stresses of coming in under the pressure of trying to repeat or now go back for a second time.”

Tears were shed in Seattle with tridents held proudly after the Mariners’ curse-breaking playoff berth and that seemed to be the unattainable limit. However, it may be time to expect them to rise for years to come. 

The Mariners will hit the plate against the San Diego Padres on Feb. 24 at 12:10 p.m.


Jerry Dipoto is President of Baseball Operations for the Mariners.

Interview on the MLB Network. Feb 15th.