Seattle Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales had a fantastic 2020 season but is he the ace of the future?
If there was an All-Star game in 2020, I would bet that Marco Gonzales would have made his first All-Star team. The current Seattle Mariners ace posted some incredible stats and almost led the Mariners to a late postseason run.
Marco posted a 7-2 record, with a 3.10 ERA and 136 ERA+. He struck out 64 batters, posted a 0.947 WHIP, 0.9 BB/9, 9.14 SO/BB, and 1.5 WAR.
The former St. Louis Cardinals first-round pick who the Mariners acquired in 2017 began to show promise in 2018, but he certainly turned it up a notch in 2020. The 28-year-old Gonzales is trending in the right direction and is nearing the peak age for MLB pitchers, but is it enough?
If you compare Marco Gonzales to the 2020 AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber, Gonzales is not nearly on the same level as Bieber who had a 3.3 WAR, and 1.63 ERA in 2020. Or if you compare the Seattle Mariners ace to Trevor Bauer, who I think would be a great fit for Seattle, had a much better 2020 season. The free agent and NL Cy Young winner posted a 2.7 WAR with a 1.73 ERA.
I will first say that I love Marco Gonzales, and I am not in any way trying to say he is not good enough. But, if the Seattle Mariners want to take the next step forward in 2021 and beyond, adding a pitcher who is better than Marco is necessary. Here are three reasons why I think Gonzales will not remain as the Mariners ace.