Marco Gonzales Deserves A Little More Love From Seattle Mariners Fans

Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers
Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

During the shortened MLB season, Marco Gonzales finished the season with a 3.10 ERA, winning 7 games out of 11. It seemed as if Marco was starting to live up to his expectations as a former 19th-overall pick. But since then, his pitching hasn't been great and I have lowered my expectations.

I know Marco Gonzales doesn't have elite stuff but we should give him some more credit for earning a spot in the Mariners rotation. Many fans on Twitter questioned Marco's ability to even be a viable starting pitcher in 2023 but I think he's proving them wrong.

Besides one start, Marco Gonzales has pitched pretty well

Yes, I know, the Gonzaga alumni owns a 4.42 ERA on the season. However, the season ERA is quite inflated by one bad start against the Toronto Blue Jays at the end of April. That game, he gave up 5 runs on 8 hits and was off the field after 3 innings.

But before that start, Marco in fact had a 3.32 ERA through four starts. And if you look even closer at the matchups, Marco Gonzales faced the Guardians twice, the Brewers, the Phillies, the Blue Jays, the Astros, and most recently the Detroit Tigers. Those aren't pitcher friendly matchups besides the Tigers game.

Across the 7 starts this season, Marco has thrown 3 quality starts which came against the Brewers, Astros, and Tigers. He also threw at least 5 innings in 3 others games.

So all that being said, Marco Gonzales has certainly done a great job especially given his role. We know that he's not Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, or Bryce Miller. But, the southpaw is pitching well for his role and I bet I could pick out a few bigger-named starting pitchers that aren't putting up a better ERA than Marco.

Since I have some time, I'll just call out a few names: Noah Syndergaard, Tyler Anderson, Corey Kluber, and Blake Snell.

Given the context, Marco Gonzales is doing his job

The context of the Seattle Mariners rotation is huge for me, and this is why I want other fans to show a bit more love to Marco. First off, Robbie Ray is out for the season which is a huge blow. Some people would argue that it benefited the Mariners because it opened up a spot for Bryce Miller to shine.

The Mariners prospect has been INCREDIBLE thus far, but we cannot forget that he's just 24 years old. Will the Seattle Mariners coaching staff be careful with his innings? Or are we just looking at a small sample size (I really hope not)?

So, Marco Gonzales plays a major role in eating up innings so that there is less stress on the bullpen. And when there is less stress on the bullpen, it softens the reliance on starting pitchers. Through 7 out of 8 games, the veteran pitcher has practically done just that especially against tough opponents.

Marco's "success" in the rotation also allows other Mariners prospects to get more time to develop. The organization doesn't have to rush Bryan Woo or Prelander Berroa who recently moved to the bullpen, I don't think Berroa moved to the pen because of Marco but I would like to think so. You could also argue that the M's don't have to force Matt Brash to be in the rotation while he still tries to figure out his command issues.

Of course I'd want more from Marco Gonzales

For those of you that say "Marco Gonzales isn't living up to being a former first round pick" or "Marco can't pitch for a competitive team," I hear you. I don't think you're wrong and I don't like accepting mediocrity either. But given where he is in his career, the context of the team, and his role, we can't ask for much more.

By next year, Marco is not going to throw 95mph, Marco is not going to learn how to throw a slider from Shohei Ohtani, and Marco is not going to win a Cy Young Award. But, I think we all know this, prospects don't always pan out.

And just because they don't pan out, we can't give up on them. They are human beings and experience the game of life just like everyone else does. There is no reason for us to give up on Marco Gonzales now. I'd even argue that his role plays a key part in whether the Mariners make the playoffs, and more importantly make a long run in the playoffs.