At 11-6, the Mariners headed into Wednesday with one of the best records in the AL (only a half game behind the Blue Jays for the best). They won Tuesday night, 8-4, at Tampa Bay, so they were riding high and feeling pretty good. That feeling went south pretty quickly, as Wednesday's starting pitcher Marco Gonzales was struck with a line drive in the first inning:
That does not feel good, even just to watch. The shot was 109 miles per hour off the bat of Harold Ramirez. It caught Gonzales on the left forearm/wrist area and given that he's a left-handed pitcher, this seems like it could linger for a bit.
The initial word from the Mariners is a left wrist contusion. He'll undergo further tests and we'll hear more information later Wednesday night or even at some point on Thursday. Even if it is "only" a bruise, simple logic dictates that Gonzales' next start is in jeopardy if there's any swelling at all -- and he was hit on the wrist with a baseball traveling up to 109 miles per hour.
Gonzales, 30, was 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings before taking the ball on Wednesday. He's been a mid-rotation arm with frontline flashes in his time in the Mariners' rotation.
If Gonzales does have to miss any starts, the Mariners don't have an obvious replacement. Former big-leaguers Daniel Ponce de Leon and Asher Wojciechowski are in their Triple-A rotation. If Gonzales only needs to miss one start, they could always piece together a bullpen game, too.