Bryan Woo Is The Talk Of The Mariners

Six games is both a small sample size as well as an extended period of time when you place them all together in a sequence. What does this 6-game stretch tell us about Bryan Woo, who has a 1.07 ERA, good for the lowest in Mariners history to start a season?

On the one hand, yeah, it’s only six games; he could fall apart at any time, he could get hurt, or he could revert to what he was last year, which was a fine pitcher who was sometimes wild and sometimes hit around. On the other hand, what an achievement! As someone who’s had numerous arm issues throughout his brief career, who is still very young, it’s incredible what we’re getting from our #5 starter!

It really is fascinating what he’s been able to do. The Mariners are clearly limiting his pitch counts – he just threw over 80 pitches for the first time yesterday – but he’s been able to get through 6 innings in four consecutive games (it might’ve been five, if he hadn’t gotten into a bit of trouble), after the slow ramp up with a shortened first start. He’s given up 4 runs in 33.2 innings, with four quality starts already.

It’s also interesting because from the sound of things, he’s still just pumping in those heaters, switching between the 4-seam and 2-seam fastballs. I wouldn’t say Woo is even remotely a finished product yet, but it’s odd to see a starter so effective without a viable off-speed/”out” pitch.

How long can this last? Well, part of the reason he’s so effective is his arm slot. But, that’s also the biggest reason why he’s so injury prone. You have to wonder if he’ll be a long-term option for this team without a change in his mechanics. Are we ALWAYS going to have to limit his innings/pitch counts? Is this just the new wave of starter, who can’t really throw over 80 pitches very often, so he’ll have to be hyper-efficient whenever he’s out there?

It’s wild to me how good this rotation is from top to bottom. It’s even crazier knowing we still have Emerson Hancock down in Tacoma, who through four games in AAA has a 2.74 ERA, with 23.0 innings pitched and 21 strikeouts after being sent down. We’re so flush with starting pitching, that there’s some hot-shot starter down in the low minors who we’re converting to a reliever so he can possibly get a premature call-up in the second half of this season! Logan Evans was just drafted by the Mariners in 2023, and he’s already in AA carving guys up! Granted, he was in college for four years, so it’s not like he’s some infant. Nevertheless, it’s exciting to see.

In other news, the Mariners just wrapped up a series win down in Oakland, where we scored all of 8 runs in 3 games. I’m guessing all that talk about the Mariners being fixed after they fired Brant Brown was a little hyperbolic. Not for nothing, but I’m not expecting a whole lot more over in Kansas City this weekend.

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