Marco Elias Gonzales (born February 16, 1992) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has played in MLB for the St. Louis Cardinals. He attended Gonzaga University, where he played college baseball for the Gonzaga Bulldogs as a pitcher and first baseman.

Marco Gonzales
Marco Gonzales.jpg
Gonzales with the Seattle Mariners in 2018
Seattle Mariners – No. 7
Born: (1992-02-16) February 16, 1992 (age 27)
Fort Collins, Colorado
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
June 25, 2014, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Win–loss record34–25
Earned run average4.25

At Gonzaga, Gonzales won the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Freshman of the Year awards. Gonzales also was chosen as an All-American and named the John Olerud Award winner for 2013. The Cardinals selected him with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the June 2013 MLB draft. In Minor League Baseball in 2014, he was a Texas League midseason All-Star and Pitcher of the Week selection and the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He made his MLB debut in 2014, and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016 for a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. The Cardinals traded him to the Mariners in 2017.

Amateur careerEdit

Gonzales attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado.[1] He lettered in baseball in all four years.[2] In his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, he was named All-Colorado and All-Front Range. As a senior, he was named the Colorado High School Baseball Player of the Year after compiling an 11–0 won–loss record (W–L) with a 2.20 earned run average (ERA) and 87 strikeouts (SO) in 54 innings pitched (IP). He also batted .486 with seven home runs and 36 runs batted in (RBI).[2] He started the Class 5A state championship game for Rocky Mountain in all four years of his high school career, winning all four.[1][2]

The Colorado Rockies selected Gonzales in the 29th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. As the Rockies did not make a significant offer and advised him to attend college, Gonzales opted not to sign.[citation needed] Instead, he enrolled at Gonzaga University to play college baseball for the Bulldogs.[1] That summer, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Wenatchee AppleSox of the West Coast League.[3]

As a freshman at Gonzaga, Gonzales finished with an 11–2 W–L and 2.57 ERA, and was named West Coast Conference (WCC) co-Player of the Year and co-Freshman of the Year, along with Kris Bryant.[1][4] As a sophomore, he had an 8–2 W–L and a 1.55 ERA, and was named WCC Pitcher of the Year and an All-American.[1][2][5] That summer, he briefly played collegiate summer baseball with the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League,[6] and played for the United States national collegiate baseball team in tournaments in Cuba and the Netherlands, being named most valuable player of the Netherlands tournament.[2]

In 2013, his junior year, he pitched a 7–3 record with a 2.80 ERA, and led the team in hitting with a .311 average, two home runs and 26 RBI, earning him Co-West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors.[1][7] Gonzales was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.[8] In 2013, he won the John Olerud Award, awarded annually by the College Baseball Foundation to the best two-way player of the season.[9]

Professional careerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

Gonzales was widely considered to be a first-round pick before the 2013 MLB draft.[1] The St. Louis Cardinals selected him 19th overall.[10] He signed on June 19 for $1.85 million.[11] Baseball America rated him #28 in their Top 500 prospects.

The Cardinals assigned him to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, then promoted him to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. He completed ​23 13 IP with a 2.70 ERA between the two squads. In addition, he allowed 18 hits and eight walks for a 1.114 walks plus hits per inning pitched ratio (WHIP) while striking out 23.[12]

Gonzales began the 2014 season with Palm Beach, and received a promotion to the Springfield Cardinals of the Class AA Texas League in May.[13] His statistics after seven starts at Springfield included ​38 23 IP, a 3–2 won-loss record, a 2.33 ERA. He allowed 33 hits, two home runs, and 10 walks while striking out 46. He was rated the #4 prospect in the Cardinals' organization. The Cardinals called him up to the major leagues, and, the day before he made his MLB debut, he was named to the 2014 All-Star Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[14][15]

St Louis CardinalsEdit


Filling in for the injured Jaime García, Gonzales made his major league debut as the starter against the Rockies on June 25.[16] Due to his promotion to the major leagues, he was removed from the Futures Game roster.[17] He doubled in his first major league at-bat. Left fielder and former Rockie Matt Holliday singled him home to score his first run. On the mound, he gave up five earned runs and seven hits, with one home run in five innings, walking two, striking out three, facing 24 batters, and received a no-decision. Gonzales began with three scoreless innings, but got into trouble in the fourth by giving up a lead-off home run to Drew Stubbs, two doubles and two singles. The Cardinals eventually won, 9–6.[18] Gonzales became the first Cardinals' starter to make his debut without playing at the Triple A level since Cliff Politte in April 1998.[19]

Gonzales' second MLB start came against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The outing went similar to his first MLB appearance, he started with three scoreless innings but yielded multiple runs in the fourth. In ​4 13 IP, he yielded five earned runs, seven hits, four walks and two strikeouts. The Giants won 5–0, giving him his first MLB loss.[20] After posting a 7.07 ERA in first three MLB starts, the Cardinals optioned him to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds on July 7, where he appeared for the first time.[21]

On August 30, the Cardinals recalled Gonzales, and he gained his first MLB win in a 13–2 romp over the Chicago Cubs. He completed six innings, allowed one run on three hits, two walks, and struck out five.[22] Gonzales' third win of the season came against the Rockies by a score of 4–1 on September 14 as he struck out nine in ​5 23 IP. The nine strikeouts were the most by a Cardinals left-handed rookie since Rick Ankiel on September 13, 2000.[23] He made 10 total MLB appearances, five as a starter, completing ​34 23 IP, allowing 32 H, 21 BB, 16 ER and a 4.15 ERA with a 4–2 W–L.[24] In 31 total games – including 26 starts – between three minor league levels and the major leagues, Gonzales allowed a 2.81 ERA with a 13–7 W–L record and 148 SO in ​156 23 IP.[25]

The Cardinals made the playoffs in 2014, and Gonzales made his MLB postseason debut, pitching in relief. He recorded three total scoreless innings in the National League Division Series (NLDS) against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He picked up two of the club's three wins, including the series clincher.[26] He pitched another three innings against the Giants in the National League Championship Series (NLCS), giving up three earned runs as the Cardinals were eliminated from the postseason.[24] In December, the Cardinals named him their Minor League Pitcher of the Year.[25]


Having struggled with a shoulder injury for much of the 2015 season, Gonzales totaled 13 starts and 64 innings with Memphis, allowing a 5.20 ERA with 81 hits and a .315 batting average against. His record was 1–4. The Cardinals activated him with the roster expansion on September 1.[27] He made his first major league appearance and start of the season against the Washington Nationals that day, allowing four runs in less than three innings.[28] Prior to the 2016 season, Baseball America ranked him as the fifth-best prospect in the Cardinals' system.[29]


He was sidelined on April 13, 2016, after a diagnosis on a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.[30] The injury required Tommy John surgery in April 2016, putting Gonzales out for the entire 2016 season.[31] He was ranked the seventh-best prospect in the Cardinals' organization.[32]


Gonzales was recalled on June 13, 2017, to start Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was his first start in the majors since September 1, 2015.[citation needed]

Seattle MarinersEdit


On July 21, 2017, the Cardinals traded Gonzales to the Seattle Mariners for Tyler O'Neill.[33] Gonzales made his Mariners debut on August 6, 2017 against the Kansas City Royals, in which he went 4 innings, allowing 5 earned runs on 7 hits, a walk, and 5 strikeouts.[34] In 2017 with the Mariners, he made 7 starts (10 appearances total), going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA (22 earned runs) and 4.28 FIP with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks.[35]


After pitching to a 1-1 record and 2.08 ERA in seven spring training starts, Gonzales was rewarded a spot on the Mariners' 2018 Opening Day roster and was slotted 4th in their starting rotation.[36] On June 29, he threw his first career complete game against the Kansas City Royals, limiting them to just 1 run on 6 hits, 7 strikeouts, and no walks.[37] Gonzales finished the first half of the season with a 10-5 record and 3.41 ERA in 19 starts (113.1 IP). However, he faltered down the stretch, posting a 3-4 record with 5.23 ERA in 10 starts (53.1 IP).[38] Nonetheless, Gonzales managed to stay healthy in his first full season in Seattle, starting a career-high 29 games, leading the team in wins with 13 while striking out 145 batters and compiling a 4.00 ERA and 3.43 FIP over 166.2 innings pitched.[39]


On March 9, 2019, Gonzales was named the Mariners' Opening Day starter for their opening series in Japan.[40] It also marked the first year that Félix Hernández would not be the Mariners' Opening Day starter in 10 years.[41] In his first ever Opening Day start against the Oakland Athletics on March 20 in Tokyo, Japan, Gonzales earned his first win of the season by throwing 6 innings and allowing 4 runs (3 of which were earned) on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts.[42] Gonzales was the only consistent Seattle starter in the 2019 season, as he was 16–13 with a 3.99 ERA in 34 starts. In 203 innings, he struck out 147 batters and walked 56.


Award/honor # of times Dates (Ranking or event) Refs
Minor leagues
Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game 1 2014 [43]
All-Star 1 2014 (Texas League midseason) [43]
Pitcher of the Week 1 June 15, 2014 (Texas League) [43]
St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year 1 2014 [25]
Tournament Most Valuable Pitcher 1 2012 (Netherlands)
John Olerud Award 1 2013
All-American 1 2012
West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year 1 2012
West Coast Conference Player of the Year 1 2011
West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year 1 2011

Pitching profileEdit

Gonzales throws a fastball between 88 to 91 miles per hour (142–146 km/h). He features a changeup that was regarded as one of the best in his draft class.[7] His command is above average, and throws two different breaking pitches with his curve being better than his slider.[11] After his first MLB stint from June–July 2014, manager Mike Matheny advised him to add a curveball and cut fastball to keep hitters from focusing on his four-seam fastball and changeup.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Gonzales' father, Frank, played baseball at La Junta High School in La Junta, Colorado, leading it to a state championship in the 1980s. He went on to pitch at Colorado State University and was drafted in the 16th round by the Detroit Tigers in 1989. He then played about ten years in the minor leagues, coached high school and continues as a pitching coach the Colorado Rockies’ Class A minor-league club.[1] Gonzales' mother, Gina, is a firefighter; his brother Alex also plays baseball for Gonzales' alma mater, Rocky Mountain High School.[44]

Gonzales grew up a Colorado Rockies fan.[45]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Frei, Terry (June 2, 2013). "Marco Gonzales likely first-round pick in 2013 MLB draft after starring for Rocky Mountain H.S., Gonzaga". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hamrick, Ken (May 10, 2013). "Gonzales having stellar year for Gonzaga". La Junta Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  3. ^ Fry, Hap (August 10, 2010). "Marco Gonzales pitching well in summer league". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 2, 2013. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Trimmer, Dave (June 2, 2011). "In brief: Gonzales, Carpenter lead way for Zags on WCC team". Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  5. ^ Stalwick, Howie (June 2, 2013). "Gonzaga All-American projected high in baseball draft". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "Major League Baseball Players From the Cape Cod League" (PDF). Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Meyer, Brendan (June 19, 2013). "Molina homers, Cards win 4–1 against Cubs". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  8. ^ SWX Right Now Staff (May 28, 2013). "Gonzales named semifinalist for Golden Spikes Award". Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  9. ^ O'Brien, Patrick (June 29, 2013). "Marco Gonzales named John Olerud Two-Way Player of Year". Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (May 24, 2013). "Cards double up on lefties in first round of draft". Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Marco Gonzales, #4 Prospect". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  12. ^ "Marco Gonzales minor league statistics & history". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  13. ^ Berry, Adam (May 24, 2014). "Gonzales hurls shutout ball in first Double-A win".
  14. ^ Lytle, Kevin (June 25, 2014). "Marco Gonzales makes Futures Game roster". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  15. ^ Ulm, Cody (June 25, 2014). "Gonzales, Ramsey selected to Futures Game". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  16. ^ Ulm, Cody (June 23, 2014). "Gonzales' debut doubles as homecoming".
  17. ^ "2014 All-Star Futures Game roster". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  18. ^ Ulm, Cody (June 25, 2014). "Cards cap big comeback with clutch two-baggers". Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  19. ^ "LHP Marco Gonzalez to debut with Cardinals". Associated Press. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  20. ^ Lytle, Kevin (July 1, 2014). "Marco Gonzales struggles in second MLB start". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Langsoch, Jenifer; Halsted, Alex (July 7, 2014). "Gonzales optioned to Memphis; Lyons recalled". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  22. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (August 31, 2014). "Holliday's swings, big eighth give Cards the split".
  23. ^ Harris, Joe (September 14, 2014). "Sweep keeps Cardinals 3 1/2 up in NL Central". Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  24. ^ a b "Marco Gonzales statistics and history". Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c Goold, Derrick (December 19, 2014). "Someone old, someone new are Cards' best". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  26. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (October 7, 2014). "Up and Adams: Cards mold NLCS berth out of Clayton". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  27. ^ Timmerman, Tom (September 1, 2015). "Cards win another stunner, beat Nationals 8–5". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  28. ^ Lytle, Kevin (September 2, 2015). "Marco Gonzales struggles in MLB season debut". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  29. ^ Manuel, John (November 16, 2015). "St. Louis Cardinals top 10 prospects". Baseball America. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  30. ^ Cardinals' Marco Gonzales To Undergo Tommy John Surgery - MLB Trade Rumors
  31. ^ Marco Gonzales, former 5A Lobo, recovering from Tommy John surgery
  32. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (April 13, 2016). "Cards prospect Gonzales lost for season".
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals Box Score, August 6, 2017". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  35. ^ "Marco Gonzales 2017 Pitching Game Logs". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  36. ^ Lytle, Kevin (March 29, 2018). "Rocky Mountain grad Marco Gonzales makes Seattle Mariners' starting rotation".
  37. ^ "Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners Box Score, June 29, 2018". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  38. ^ "Marco Gonzales 2018 Pitching Splits". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  39. ^ "Marco Gonzales 2018 Pitching Game Logs". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Felix Hernandez's remarkable opening day streak is coming to an end". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  42. ^ "Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics Box Score, March 20, 2019". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  43. ^ a b c "Marco Gonzales profile". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  44. ^ Branch, John (October 16, 2014). "A mother's phone buzzes: Her son is in again". The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  45. ^

External linksEdit