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2023 MLB Season Preview: Seattle Mariners

Highlighting what to look for during the 2023 season for the Mariners.

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners are looking to continue to build off a successful 2022 season in which they finished 90-72 and made their first playoff appearance in 21 years. Unfortunately for the Mariners, they found themselves playing the Houston Astros in the ALDS, and were swept 3-0 by the eventual World Series winners.

Expectations for 2023

Expectations are higher than usual for the Mariners after coming off their first playoff appearance in 21 years. The Mariners have the potential to make a nice jump this upcoming year if all goes well, such as getting young talent to perform to their full potential. The Mariners substantially outplayed their on-field production last year and look to bring that same production to bear in 2023: they’re projected for 84-85 wins as a central estimate. That said, 85-90 wins isn’t out of the question, but will require more to go right than wrong, along with some late-season additions to shore up weaknesses.

The Mariners made it a point in the offseason to bring in veterans to help possibly guide the young talent on the roster especially in the outfield, with the additions of Teoscar Hernandez and A.J. Pollock. Neither of these guys are long-term Mariners at this point, but provide veteran support and production to the young talent on their roster.

Because the Mariners play in the same division as the Astros, they don’t appear favorites to win their division, but they should probably still make the playoffs — their biggest contenders for the sixth playoff spot in the AL are probably the division-rival Angels.

Projected Roster, via Roster Resource


  1. Julio Rodríguez - CF
  2. Ty France - 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez - 3B
  4. Teoscar Hernandez - RF
  5. Kolten Wong - 2B
  6. Cal Raleigh - C
  7. J.P. Crawford - SS
  8. A.J. Pollock - DH
  9. Jarred Kelenic - LF

Projected Bench

Tom Murphy - C
Tommy La Stella - INF
Dylan Moore - UTI
Sam Haggerty - UTI

Projected Rotation

Luis Castillo - RHP
Logan Gilbert - RHP
Robbie Ray - LHP
George Kirby - RHP
Marco Gonzales - LHP

Projected Bullpen

Paul Sewald - RHP
Andres Munoz - RHP
Diego Castillo - RHP
Matt Brash - RHP
Penn Murfee - RHP
Trevor Gott - RHP
Matt Festa - RHP
Chris Flexen - RHP

Biggest Strength

The biggest strength for Seattle heading into the 2023 season is with reigning American League Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez in center field. The Mariners are projected for 6.0 WAR from center which is the second most in baseball, trailing only the Angels per FanGraphs’ Depth Charts. Most of that has to do with Rodriguez, who is coming off a 2022 season in which he slugged 28 home runs with a 146 wRC+ while also putting up 5.3 fWAR.

Biggest Weakness

While the Mariners have a huge strength in center, there are still some question marks in the remainder of the outfield and most notably in left field. Even with the addition of veteran outfielder A.J. Pollock, it still isn’t very promising, considering Pollock is coming off just 0.5 fWAR in 2022 (albeit, with underhitting his xwOBA a fair bit). Jarred Kelenic needs to finally make a jump in order to solidify the position for Seattle. The 2018 draft’s No. 6 overall pick, Kelenic is coming off a tough year for the Mariners in which he spent yo-yo’d between Majors and Triple-A. He hit well in the minors but it never translated to the major league level, where he put up a .141/.221/.313 line with a 55 wRC+ in 181 plate appearances.

The challenges in left also magnify the team’s lack of a dedicated DH — if Kelenic is starting in left, then Pollock could get a lot of PAs at DH, at least when the Mariners aren’t starting Tom Murphy at catcher and letting Cal Raleigh hit some more. The lack of a generic left-handed thumper to plug in at DH looms fairly large for the team.

Reinforcements from the Farm

The Mariners have made it a point to build up their farm system and call up players to make an immediate impact at the major league level. Guys such as Rodriguez and Raleigh were a prime example of that just last season. That’s enough to make you wonder whether there is another guy who can make an immediate impact in the 2023 season? Perhaps 23-year old right-hander Emerson Hancock could be that guy. Hancock was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft out of the University of Georgia, where he went 16-7 with a 3.47 ERA in his college career for the Bulldogs. He has a great fastball to go along with his 6-foot-4 frame that usually sits in the mid 90s, but has topped out at 99 mph. He spent the 2022 season at the Double-A level where he posted a 3.75 ERA albeit with a 5.31 FIP in 98 1/3 innings. Hancock is currently Seattle’s fifth best prospect per Baseball America.

Braves history/outlook against the team

The Braves will face off against the Mariners for a three-game series that will take place May 19th-21st in Atlanta. The Mariners took two of three in Seattle against Atlanta last season, a series which featured the infamous massive-comeback-followed-by-Kenley-Jansen-blowing-it-on-two-homers game.

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