Marco Elias Gonzales
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
- School Gonzaga University
- High School Rocky Mountain High School
- Debut June 25, 2014
Pitcher Marco Gonzales was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 29th round of the 2010 amateur draft but did not sign. After attending Gonzaga University, he was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals and scout Matt Swanson in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft with the 19th overall pick and soon signed for a $1.85 million bonus. He was a two-way player at Gonzaga and he was also considered a major league prospect as a hitter, but the Cardinals decided to make him a full-time pitcher. He made his pro debut for the GCL Cardinals on July 8th. He also pitched for the Palm Beach Cardinals that year, ending up with a combined ERA of 2.70 and no decisions in 8 games and 23 1/3 innings on the mound.
He started the 2014 season back with Palm Beach, where he went 2-2, 1.43 in 6 starts. On May 17th, he was promoted to the Springfield Cardinals of the AA Texas League, where he was 3-2, 2.33 in 7 starts before getting the call to "The Show". When he made his debut on June 25th, as the Cards' starting pitcher against the Colorado Rockies, he was the first player from the first round of the previous year's draft to reach the big leagues, although a player taken in the supplemental first round, Corey Knebel, had preceded him by a few days. He gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings but was not involved in the decision that day. His opponent for the Rockies, Yohan Flande, was also making his debut, although he was in his 9th season of professional baseball already. He pitched 10 times for the Cards, including 5 starts, logging 34 2/3 innings with an ERA of 4.15 and a 4-2 record. He was placed on the Cardinals' roster for the postseason and proved a key man in the win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, as he received credit for two of his team's three wins while pitching middle relief. He gave up no runs on 2 hits in 3 innings, but in the NLCS he was charged with a loss in Game 4 when he gave up 3 runs in two-thirds of an inning, ending a streak of five straight postseason appearances in which he had not given up a run.
In 2015, injuries limited him to a single appearance in the major leagues, a start against the Washington Nationals on September 1st in which he gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 2 2/3 innings, but escaped with a no-decision as the Cardinals won, 8-5. He went 1-5, 5.45 in 14 starts for the Memphis Redbirds in AAA, also making a couple of appearances each on rehabilitation assignments with Palm Beach and Springfield. He then missed all of 2016 with an injury.
On July 21, 2017, the Cardinals traded Marco to the Seattle Mariners in return for another prospect, OF Tyler O'Neill. He went 1-1, 5.40 in 10 games after the trade, after making only one start for the Cards before that. Gonzales joined the Mariners' starting rotation in 2018 and was one of the major contributors to the team having an excellent first half. On June 29th, he pitched his first career complete game in defeating the Kansas City Royals, 4-1. He and James Paxton were the team's best two pitchers, although Marco had the advantage of being healthy almost all season, He finished at 13-9, 4.00 in 29 starts, logging 166 2/3 innings. Paxton left via trade after the season, and with the continuing decline of long-time ace Felix Hernandez, he was the one tabbed to make the opening day start for Seattle in 2019. It came earlier than most years, as the Mariners and Oakland Athletics opened the year with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21.