Dipoto: Brash could start in ’23, Mariners getting ‘hit’ about SP trades

Nov 10, 2022, 2:54 PM

Mariners Matt Brash...

Mariners pitcher Matt Brash reacts during ALDS Game 3 against the Houston Astros on Oct. 15, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

When it comes to the Mariners this offseason, the focus is mainly on position players. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be interesting happening on the pitching side.

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M’s president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto, calling in from MLB’s general manager meetings in Las Vegas, touched on a couple of topics regarding their pitching Thursday during his weekly show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

Could Brash return to the rotation?

A development of the 2022 season for Seattle was rookie pitching prospect Matt Brash going from a struggling starter to a high-leverage reliever.

Brash broke spring training with the team as the fifth member of the rotation, but he was optioned to Triple-A after just five starts and converted to a relief role. He then excelled out of the bullpen after rejoining the Mariners in July.

What’s the plan for him in 2023? Dipoto said that Brash will be stretched out as a potential starter in spring training, but as far as penciling him into the Mariners’ rotation next season, pump the brakes a little.

“To this point, Matt is going to pitch his 25-year-old season. I think he was awesome last year once we shifted him to the bullpen. Based on our present personnel, I think it’s highly likely that he starts the season again in the bullpen,” Dipoto said. ” … There’s really no harm in stretching out, being prepared to stretch out in spring training. It’s a lot easier to back up than it is to stretch out in terms of innings development. And at least at the start of the spring, we’ll see where that takes us. I can’t say it’s a natural competition. Right now, we have six starters who who are going to vie for time and we have a handful of other young pitchers who are going to have a chance to make an impression.”

Mariners could trade from pitching depth

With the Mariners having a lot of pitching at or close to the MLB level, Dipoto said other teams have reached out about potential trades.

“We’ve been hit a ton since we landed in Vegas on our pitching,” he said. “And that goes from our big league group to minor league prospects to relievers. It’s been fairly active in teams hitting us on that pitching, and for good reason. They’re good, and on the surface from the outside looking in, we appear to have some level of surplus. It’s something that might be an advantage to us through the trade market. We’ll see where that goes.”

As it stands, the Mariners have Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen as starting pitchers on their 40-man roster. Flexen and Gonzales have both been speculated as potential trade chips for Seattle, with Flexen in particular coming up in trade rumors.

Related: MLB Network’s Morosi details M’s rumblings from GM meetings

Listen to the latest Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player below.

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Dipoto: Brash could start in ’23, Mariners getting ‘hit’ about SP trades