The Seattle Mariners rumors about Marco Gonzales have been intriguing to fans this offseason. The Mariners need Gonzales to become a reliable starting pitcher for the team and it appears that the front office already feels this will take place during the 2018 MLB season. Though it’s a lot of pressure for the young player, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is brimming with confidence about what he could do for the team on the mound this year.
While a lot of Mariners fans wanted the team to add a big-name starting pitcher during free agency, that hasn’t happened. While there are certainly Seattle Mariners rumors linking the team to Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta still, additions to the starting rotation might not be coming. A report on Sunday (January 28) by the Daily Herald also underscores why the team doesn’t have the assets to trade for more starting pitching. Acquiring Dee Gordon, Jean Segura, Marco Gonzales, and Mike Leake wasn’t cheap.
The current Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation has James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Mike Leake, Erasmo Ramirez, and Marco Gonzales (in that order). Ariel Miranda, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Andrew Moore are also on the roster as potential candidates, according to the latest depth chart released by Major League Baseball. It’s not exactly a rotation that will strike fear into opponents unless everyone comes through during the 2018 MLB season.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Carl Hamilton.
— Mariners (@Mariners) January 28, 2018
Gonzales was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals for minor-league outfielder Tyler O’Neill. The former first-round draft pick was unimpressive, making seven starts and pitching in relief three times. Gonzales pitched 36 2/3 innings, posting a 5.40 ERA, a 1.745 WHIP, and just 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. The Mariners will need him to pitch much better than that this season, especially since he has no more minor-league options left. This means he has to make the 25-man roster, get cut, or be traded before Opening Day.
While Dipoto may have confidence and faith in Gonzales, that sentiment is not shared by FanGraphs. The prediction currently on the site states that Gonzales will pitch only 81 innings over 11 starts and 20 relief appearances during the 2018 MLB season. He is further projected to post a 4.48 ERA.
FanGraphs also projects that Mike Leake will lead the rotation with 186 innings and 31 starts. After that, they have James Paxton (29 starts), Felix Hernandez (28), Erasmo Ramirez (23), and Ariel Miranda (18). Gonzales, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Andrew Moore are predicted to get 11 starts each. Those are the Steamer Projections and they are pretty unkind to the Mariners.
Not all Mariners fans, MLB analysts, or fans of other teams share the same optimism in Marco Gonzales that Jerry Dipoto has shown in the young pitcher. But many Mariners fans still hope he turns out to be correct. Otherwise, it could be another long summer, with numerous negative Seattle Mariners rumors surfacing before the MLB trade deadline.