BROCK AND SALK

Mitch Garver: What makes each of Mariners’ 5 SPs stand out

Feb 28, 2024, 3:34 PM

Seattle Mariners Luis Castillo...

Luis Castillo of the Seattle Mariners reacts after a strikeout against the Angels on Sept. 13, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Mitch Garver knows a thing or two about facing the Seattle Mariners, having spent his entire seven-year career in the American League, including the last two years in the AL West.

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Now, Garver is the Mariners’ new designated hitter after signing a two-year deal with the club in free agency.

The Mariners are known for their pitching as they’ve had one of baseball’s top staffs each of the last three seasons. That’s expected to be the case once again in 2024, and Garver seems glad to be on the same side as those pitchers now.

“The team over the last two or three years has been young studs, great arms, power sinkers, power fastballs, power breaking balls. It’s just been a different look,” Garver told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Wednesday. “It’s honestly been kind of a nightmare to face these guys over the past two or three years.”

Watch: New DH Mitch Garver crushes first homer with Seattle Mariners

Garver will no longer have to face that “nightmare” in game action.

“They’re not too much fun to face,” he said. “They’re just so talented and I’m really happy to be in their dugout.”

The Mariners’ bullpen is loaded with high-velocity arms and wipeout breaking balls, but like any pitching staff, Seattle’s starting rotation is the key.

The Mariners return two All-Stars in Luis Castillo and George Kirby, while Logan Gilbert is set for his fourth MLB season. And Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo, who both began last year in Double-A, will start this season in the MLB rotation after pitching well as rookies in 2023.

“Each one’s unique, right?” Garver said of Seattle’s five-man rotation. “… Everybody has something unique about them that makes them special, and the Mariners have done a really good job finding them.”

Garver, a longtime catcher who isn’t expected to don the gear much, if at all, in 2024, shared a quick scouting report on those five starters.

The Mitch Garver Report: Seattle Mariners pitchers

George Kirby: “He’s got elite command, doesn’t walk too many guys, four or five ‘plus’ pitches that are in the zone so he’s on attack.”

• Logan Gilbert: “Logan has about eight feet of extension when he releases the ball, so his 98-99 mph plays up to about 107.”

• Bryan Woo: “Bryan Woo, low arm slot, high spin, throws the ball up in the zone. It gives the hitter a perception that the ball is going to be lower, but it’s not.”

• Bryce Miller: “Bryce Miller has a turbo fastball that has about 21-22 inches of induced vertical break, so he can live at the top of the zone safely with that.”

• Luis Castillo: “And then obviously ‘Big Cheese,’ he’s got the low arm slot, two fastballs, slider, changeup, and he has the experience.”

Listen to Brock and Salk’s full conversation with Mitch Garver at this link or watch the sitdown interview in the video player near the top of this story.

More on the Mariners

• How offseason for Mariners’ Ty France looked at Driveline
• Mariners announce video webcasts for some spring games
• Mariners’ Logan Gilbert details how his pitches could look different in ’24
• MLB is ‘going to try to address’ uniforms, says Mariners catcher
• Mariners infield defense under guru Perry Hill all starts at a wall
• What Scott Servais said about four key Mariners hitters

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Mitch Garver: What makes each of Mariners’ 5 SPs stand out