Marco Gonzales returned from Tommy John surgery last season, making 11 appearances (eight starts) with the Mariners after coming over from St. Louis in a July trade. The results were ugly, but the top estimators point to the lefty being at least a run better than his ERA would suggest (5.06 FIP, 4.46 xFIP, 4.48 SIERA). His strikeout rate was modest at 7.2 K/9 and Gonzales had trouble with the long ball (1.80 HR/9), but he posted a strong walk rate for the year (2.5 BB/9) and his numbers at Triple-A were solid. Gonzales was excellent in seven relief innings (24.1 K-BB percentage) and he finished strong overall, posting a 2.81 ERA in September. As things stand, Gonzales appears likely to serve as Seattle's swingman to open 2018. That puts him just an injury away from starts, and of course the top two arms in the Mariners' rotation (James Paxton and Felix Hernandez) have dealt with a slew of injuries in recent years.
Gonzales gave up two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three over four innings in a no-decision against the Angels on Friday. Mike Trout touched Gonzales up for his 200th career homer. This caps off a disappointing run at the big-league level for Gonzales in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. He did enjoy success with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate before being traded, and there is pedigree here, but it's tough to envision Gonzales ever being a big difference maker in fantasy given the amount of contact he allows.
Gonzales will start against the Angels in Anaheim on Friday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The 25-year-old will take the place of Mike Leake in the rotation, with the Mariners opting to shut the latter down for the season early due to a minor lat issue. Gonzales secured his first win of the season in his last start, a five-inning stint versus the Rangers on Sept. 12 in which he allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out six.
Gonzales (1-1) notched his first win of the season Tuesday against the Rangers. He allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over five innings. Gonzales made his last start on Aug. 2 and was operating on 10 days of rest Tuesday after the Mariners decided to skip his last scheduled start following the acquisition of Mike Leake. Though Gonzales allowed nine baserunners in his five innings of work, the 25-year-old was able to limit the Rangers to three runs and put his team in line for the win. The southpaw's future role is a bit unclear at this time; it seems likely he will shift back to the bullpen following Tuesday's start with Felix Hernandez (shoulder) and James Paxton (pectoral) returning later this week.
Gonzales has been named the starting pitcher for Tuesday's game against the Rangers, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. Gonzales was bumped from the rotation following his disastrous start against the Orioles on Aug. 28 in which he allowed five runs over 3.1 innings of work. He was able to throw four scoreless innings of relief on Sept. 2 and will be granted a spot start in the place of Andrew Moore on Tuesday against the Rangers. He'll likely head back to a long-relief role following his start.
Gonzales could receive another trial in the Mariners' rotation after tossing four scoreless innings in relief in Saturday's victory over the Athletics, Bob Dutton of The Tacoma News Tribune reports. After Yovani Gallardo failed to escape the third inning to put the Mariners in an early hole, Gonzales came up big in his first appearance out of the bullpen, striking out five batters while conceding two hits and no walks as Seattle scored a come-from-behind victory. Though Gonzales submitted an ugly 7.40 ERA and 1.98 WHIP over his previous five starts in August with Seattle, his numbers weren't dramatically worse than what Gallardo has posted in a starting role this season, so the Mariners may be motivated to see if the 25-year-old can demonstrate some improvement in a second trial in the rotation. Manager Scott Servais wouldn't commit to starting Gallardo during the Mariners' series with the Angels next weekend, so the team brass will likely think things over during the next couple of days before determining if Gonzales would be a better option.