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Mariners Pitching Bends But It’s Not Broken 

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The Mariners are starting the season with some IL Stints in their pitching staff. Matt Brash and Gregory Santos, were already known to miss the opening day roster. Unfortunately, yesterday the Mariners 5th starter was added to the list. 

Matt Brash:

The right handed phenom reliever is behind schedule all spring. No surprise that the 25-year-old Canadian will miss opening day. 

Brash coming off a break out year in 2023, pitching to a 3.06 in a 70.2 innings pitched. Brash appeared in a league leading 78 games in 2023. Brash is known for his nasty stuff, especially his Slider. With a 15 run value and a .416 OPS against, it’s one of the best pitches in the game. It’s features a lot on the Pitching Ninja X account. 

Brash is dealing with elbow inflammation early in camp. While there was concern for a much worse outcome, Brash has been ramping up lately. 

Brash has “picked up throwing quite a bit,” manager Scott Servais said, adding that the righty “looks great.” He’s now reached throwing at 110 feet at max effort, with the next steps to be throwing off a mound. He will not be ready by Opening Day, but there’s hope that he could return shortly after.

This is tremendous news for the Mariners to add one of the better young bullpen arms in the game. 

Unfortunately, the news wasn’t as good for acquired reliever Gregory Santos. Another young arm that came off a break out year in 2023. Over 66.1 innings, the 24-year-old pitched to a 3.39 ERA for the White Sox. 

Santos has been dealing with a lat issue. Unlike with Brash, the expectation for Santos was returning in April. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to ramp it up. On Opening Day, Santos will get another MRI and if it clears, he will restart his throwing program. In the case it clears, it will still take weeks for Santos to return. 

The news about the relievers wasn’t unknown and the Mariners already pivot to adding Ryne Stanek this month. However, the Mariners also announced an injury to their 5th starter: Bryan Woo. Woo will start the season on the IL with Elbow Inflammation. Emerson Hancock will take Woo his spot in the rotation. 

Woo didn’t feel great warming up before his latest bullpen session. He reportedly wasn’t able to get loose. An MRI followed with no structural damage. 

The hope is that the inflammation will be gone in 7-10 days and Woo can return to throwing. Mariners GM Justin Hollander said this was similar to Woo his IL stint last season, when he went 18 days on the IL. 

Woo is coming off a promising first season, pitching to a 4.21 ERA in 87.2 innings of work. Woo, known for a very good fastball that hitters have issue with, was seen (by me) as a break out pitcher this season. The Mariners will miss Woo, but fans also have a chance to watch their main pitching prospect in Emerson Hancock, who made 3 starts last year with a 4.50 ERA for the Mariners. 

So, the Mariners got some positive news on Brash but unfortunate news on Santos and Woo just before their opening day on Thursday. The Mariners will face the Red Sox with Luis Castillo and Brayan Bello getting the opening day nod. 

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