Mariners Report Cards: Grading the 2021 season for Marco Gonzales

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 01: Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after a strikeout against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at T-Mobile Park on October 01, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 01: Marco Gonzales #7 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after a strikeout against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at T-Mobile Park on October 01, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Very Boring.

Not this article. Well, at least I hope you don’t think so. I’m talking about the header that is still on the Twitter account for Marco Gonzales. It all stems from that jackwad Kevin Mather and his moronic comments relating to the Mariners and their frontline pitcher back before the season started. Goodness, that guy is something else.

Anywho, I’m here to talk about that very boring guy… who I don’t actually think is that boring at all. Some people may actually think that because Marco doesn’t strike that many hitters out. There is far more to being an exciting pitcher than just strikeouts.

Marco is a dog. Better yet, he’s a bulldog, and in multiple ways. He takes control when he is on the field, leading the way for the team, as well as being an alumnus of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. You see him on the field, and he plays the role of a frontline starter through a combination of talent, ability, and intensity. You’d be hard-pressed to count how often Marco is yelling and getting all fired up because it happens so often.

Marco Gonzales is an awesome pitcher for the Seattle Mariners

The reason I bring all of this up is that I think it actually plays a part in how you are going to grade a player for their season. If Marco was super composed all the time, never showing emotion, and giving off a general air of indifference, then I think it would negatively affect both the team and the fanbase.

Very Boring indeed.

When it comes to the actual stats on the field instead of the intangibles, well, he’s pretty good there also. It was a bit of an odd start to the year for Marco though, and I think it left an odd taste in people’s mouths and memories when they think back to how he did on the year. First, let’s look at some of the main pitching stats for the year for Marco.

3.96 ERA, 143.1 IP, 25 starts, 1.165 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Seems pretty good. Nothing special. But good, right? I know it’s picking and choosing a bit, but that’s split that up into two sections. Pre-injury and post-injury. Injuries matter. Tons of guys deal with them, but they definitely make an impact. Here’s how it affected Marco

  • Pre-injury: 5.40 ERA, 28.1 IP, 1.3412 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 7.3 K/9
  • Post-injury: 3.60 ERA, 115 IP, 1.127 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 6.7 K/9

Let’s break it down even more. I wanna look at his last 14 starts of the year. That will break it up into three sections. Those five pre-injury starts. The next six when he came back, and the final 14. You’ll see why I’m breaking this up now.

  • Pre-injury: 5.40 ERA, 28.1 IP (5 GS), 1.3412 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 7.3 K/9
  • First month back: 6.35 ERA, 28.1 IP (6 GS), 1.5882 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 8.3 K/9
  • Rest of year: 2.70 ERA, 86.2 IP (14 GS), 0.9692 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 6.1 K/9

You can see the change. He got back, started getting comfortable, and was throwing within his ability again. I’m not going to say that last half of the season Marco is the real version of him either. Think about what he has finished his seasons at. 4.00, 3.99, 3.10 (2020), 3.96. He’s likely some mid-to-high 3 ERA guy.

That sets the table for his grade on the season. You still have to take everything into account. The early struggles. Possibly coming back too early from injury and not being ready. Taking the team on his back for the second half and bringing them as close as he possibly could to the playoffs (the team was 8-2 in his last 10 starts).

When it comes down to it, I think Marco still had a pretty good season. If you wanna be the frontline guy though, I think you need more consistency and a better start to the season. Having a 5.88 ERA as of the All-Star break is never good.

When it comes to a grade for the 2021 season for the Mariners Marco Gonzales, I give him a B-

It was a good season. Guess what? If he could throw a 3.96 again next year, but increase it to a few more starts/innings, we should all be real happy with it. It would likely even bump his grade up to the B/B+ range if he could make 30-32 starts and throw 170-180 innings. For now, I’ll just give him a very boring B-. I sure hope he proves me wrong next year and comes out hot. Go Marco Gonzales, and Go Mariners.

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