Mariners’ Dipoto on high praise for Matt Brash: ‘His stuff is on that tier’

Feb 17, 2023, 12:17 PM
Mariners Matt Brash...
Mariners pitcher Matt Brash reacts during the a game against the Royals on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, and one of their youngest arms may have some of the best pure stuff in the game.

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During a recent interview with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob, Chris Langin, Driveline Baseball’s director of pitching, had the highest praise possible for electric Mariners reliever Matt Brash’s go-to secondary pitch.

“I think you could pretty realistically say his slider is maybe the best pitch in terms of pitch movement and velocity in major league history,” Langin said of Brash. “I actually think it’s, like, that absurd how good the stuff of that pitch is.”

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A few days later, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto jumped on Seattle Sports for his weekly show. His thoughts on hearing Langin’s praise for Brash?

“History is a long time,” Dipoto said with a laugh. “My first reaction is it’s pretty (darn) good. Jokingly, we said this spring we are going to lean into the ‘Matt Brash has the greatest pitch in major league history’ theme, because we did (hear that comment) … And when you’re watching it live, your reaction is, ‘How can it be any nastier than it is?’ And I say that, and there have been a lot of nasty pitches in major league history, and some by Mariners.”

Dipoto made sure to point out Brash is more than a pitcher with a really good slider.

“But Matt Brash’s stuff – I won’t even really limit it just to a slider – his stuff is on that tier,” he said. “It’s just nasty, nasty stuff … It’s pretty nasty, I will say that.”

The Mariners acquired the Canadian right-hander in a 2020 deal with the San Diego Padres. At the time, Brash, a 2019 fourth-round pick, had pitched just five games in the minors, and none above A-ball. In fact, he was a “player to be named later” in that trade.

But Brash shined in the minors in 2021, resulting in him contending for a starting rotation spot last spring, which he won. Though he struggled as a starter with the M’s, Brash found success beginning in July our of the bullpen and turned into one of the Mariners’ go-to relievers.

Dipoto called Brash “gifted” with a very “fast arm,” but even with those physical traits and the ability to throw hard and spin elite breaking balls, Brash has exceeded expectations every step of the way since joining the Mariners.

“As we’ve discussed many times since we acquired him back in the summer of 2020, in our wildest dreams, we couldn’t have imagined how well it would have turned out for Matt stuff-wise,” Dipoto said. “It’s a tribute to his aptitude. Obviously he’s got physical skills that are required, but what he’s done with our pitching people here and how quickly he bought in to the programs that we run I think go a long, long way. But again, I would have been lying to you then and even now if I said, ‘Oh, yeah, we had this (thought) the whole time that he was gonna have nastiest slider in history and throw 100 mph.’ But he does those things, and it’s good for the Mariners that we have him here.”

The Jerry Dipoto Show airs live at 8:30 a.m. every Thursday during Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. Listen to this week’s full edition at this link or in the player below.

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