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Photo: MLB

#32

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Marco Gonzales

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_

Let's hear it for Marco. He's been outstanding on the mound this year—after a troubling start to the season (5.31 ERA in the first six weeks), Gonzales found his groove and became a force to be reckoned with. From mid-May through July, he was at Ace-level, pitching to a 9-2 record and 2.44 ERA, an opposing batting average of just .218, and he even notched his first career complete game (and was an out away from it being his first shutout).

August has been a different story, for whatever reason. Maybe fatigue is catching up to him (his previous career high in innings pitched was 15623, between the Majors and minors in 2014, and he's had Tommy John surgery since then), maybe it's just a slump, but he remains healthy and will have plenty of opportunity to regain his form.

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 3.68 when pitching to Zunino and 5.09 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.

TH