Seattle Mariners SP Luis Castillo has impressed to open the 2023 season. The All-Star pitcher owns a 0.73 ERA with 26 strikeouts and only four walks through 24.2 innings pitched (four starts) up to this point, per MLB Network on Twitter. Castillo’s blazing start caught the attention of Mariners star Julio Rodriguez, who posted the following tweet in reference to Castillo.

The Mariners are just 8-8 overall on the season, as they’ve dealt with mediocrity. If Castillo continues to dominate the competition, Seattle should be able to bounce back and find consistency sooner rather than later.

Castillo, who formerly pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, was traded to the Mariners last season during his second All-Star campaign. He hasn’t always been a fast starter, but Castillo tends to pick things up as the season rolls along. In 2023, however, he’s obviously dealing earlier than usual.

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In 2022, between Seattle and Cincinnati, Castillo finished with a strong 2.99 ERA and 167 strikeouts. The right-hander has quietly been one of the better pitchers in baseball over the past four years, but perhaps he can make a Cy Young run this season.

With Castillo leading the rotation and Julio Rodriguez set to pace the offense, the Mariners could be a sneaky World Series contender during the 2023 campaign. Their roster isn’t perfect and they would benefit from making a trade or two ahead of the deadline in July, but this is a ball club that features a high-ceiling.

Castillo, Rodriguez, and the Mariners will try to climb over the .500 mark against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night in Seattle.