Rookie Matt Brash wins final spot in Mariners starting rotation

Apr 2, 2022, 7:47 PM

With the move all but given away in the last week thanks to comments by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto on his weekly Thursday morning show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, it seemed like just a matter of when the announcement of Seattle’s fifth starter would come. It turned out to be Saturday morning.

Scott Servais says Mariners are “most complete team” he’s managed

“Matt Brash will open the season with the big league club,” Mariners manager Scott Servais told the media. “He will actually get a chance to pitch this time. I promised him that. He will start the fifth game of the season for us.”

Brash, as Servais alluded to, was called up to the Mariners late last season but did not get a chance to pitch. The MLB debut for Seattle’s No. 6 prospect according to MLB Pipeline won’t have to wait much longer.

“It’s just a really cool moment,” Brash said while coming off the practice field Saturday about finding out he had won the spot. “It just kind of shows all the hard work I’d done even before I got to the Mariners to get my arm in shape, get my body in shape, all kind of pays off for that moment. I’m just super excited to be with the big league club and help this team win games.”

This time it is for real – 197 days after his big league call-up, Matt Brash has a guarantee. The September call-up was a maybe – maybe he could be of help coming out of the bullpen. As it turned out, Servais couldn’t find the soft landing spot for his first time out and Brash never saw the field.

Brash, 23, perhaps came away from the experience with more than a single major league stat-line on, though.

“It definitely motivated me,” Brash said of his experience up with the Mariners. “I learned a lot from these guys even though I was only there a week. It definitely motivated me to come here in spring training and earn a spot.”

That experience was taken into consideration in the decision to take Brash over fellow prospect George Kirby for the fifth spot. The competition was ultimately win-win for the Mariners as Kirby did nothing to disappoint.

“We also had a really good meeting with George Kirby,” said Servais. “Understanding where he’s at, he didn’t have a huge workload last year. It’s really important that he continues to progress. George is going to pitch for us this year, there’s no question about it. I think he is going to be a huge part of how our season plays out but right now he’s going to start the season in Double-A.”

At Double-A, the Mariners can keep Kirby out of bad spring weather and better manage his workload, which will be tricky after throwing just 67 1/3 innings in 2020. Ideally, they would like him to be able to pitch through – and hopefully beyond – the full big league regular season. His 2022 journey will start in Arkansas, and Brash’s Minnesota as part of the Mariners opening day roster.

What a difference a few years can make. On Sept. 17, 2020, Brash was sent from the Padres to the Mariners as the player to be named later to complete a trade for reliever Taylor Williams.

“It has been quick, for sure,” said Brash. “I always knew I was going to get here at some point with the work ethic I had, the talent I had. I just knew it was going to take a little while. It’s definitely been a really fast couple of years but super exciting. I’m just thankful the Mariners gave me this opportunity.”

Salk: Nothing more important for Mariners than for Jarred Kelenic to succeed

Date Starting Pitcher
Thursday, March 23 @ 6:05 pm

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Jarred Kelenic Tom Murphy...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Updates on Kelenic, Murphy; lineup to be ‘fluid’

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer has the latest on minor injuries to Jarred Kelenic and Tom Murphy and much more from spring training.
1 day ago
Mariners Logan Gilbert...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Gilbert shines; updates on dings and dents

Logan Gilbert had his best outing of the spring, while the bumps and bruises of Mariners camp are starting to pile up. Shannon Drayer has the details.
3 days ago
Mariners Robbie Ray...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Kelenic catches up to deGrom, Ray impresses again

Shannon Drayer details why the Mariners Radio Network team called an audible Sunday and what they saw from the M's against Jacob deGrom in Surprise.
4 days ago
Mariners George Kirby...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners’ George Kirby bringing confidence, ease into 2nd season

George Kirby was perhaps the best rookie pitcher in the AL last season, and the Mariners starter is working on building off that performance.
4 days ago
Mariners Dylan Moore...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Moore out ‘at least a couple weeks,’ WBC guys return

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer has the latest on Dylan Moore's injury and how long he'll be out as well as much more in her latest notebook.
6 days ago
Mariners Dylan Moore...
Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Latest on Dylan Moore, Andrés Muñoz, Evan White

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer breaks down the news from camp in Arizona, including a setback for Dylan Moore, Evan White's Triple-A assignment and more.
7 days ago
Rookie Matt Brash wins final spot in Mariners starting rotation