Marco Elias Gonzales
Height: 6'1" Weight: 195
Bats/Throws: Left / Left
Born: 02/16/1992 in Fort Collins, Colorado
Offseason home: Seattle, Washington
College: Gonzaga University
Family: Wife Monica
Acquired: In trade from the St. Louis Cardinals, for Tyler O'Neill (07/21/2017)
MLB Debut: 06/25/2014
Free Agent after: 2023 season
Twitter handle: @MarcoGonzales_
When the season began, nobody really knew what the Mariners could expect from Gonzales. He'd had a stellar college career with Gonzaga and was a first-round draft selection in 2013, but ruptured his UCL and needed Tommy John surgery two years later, and not everyone can come back from that. Still, the southpaw oozed "potential" and Mariner fans could dream of a healthy Marco Gonzales fulfilling his promise someday. Well, someday is here. Gonzales didn't start the year in great shape, putting up a 5.31 ERA in the season's first six weeks, but since then he's been lights-out with an ERA under 1.50.
Success for Marco depends on his curveball and changeup, as his fastball generally tops out around 90mph, and when those pitches are working well you'll see a lot of ground-ball outs. It's a much different style of pitching than that of staff ace James Paxton, but Pax has been an effective tutor for his fellow southpaw nonetheless, having counseled Gonzales to believe in his stuff and pitch aggressively.
One interesting thing in Gonzales' splits is the numbers when his catcher is Mike Zunino versus anybody else. The sample size is small, as Zunino has caught the majority of Gonzales' innings, but for his career thus far, Gonzales has an ERA of 3.45 when pitching to Zunino and 6.12 when anyone else is behind the plate. Perhaps they have an exceptional rapport, or maybe it's a meaningless coincidence as Gonzales progresses in his development.