Groz: Best way for Mariners to improve before trade deadline is on their roster

Jul 19, 2021, 12:00 PM
Mariners Marco Gonzales...
Marco Gonzales is 1-5 this season with a 5.88 ERA and 1.465 WHIP. (Getty)

The Mariners start a new series Tuesday night in Colorado, and as things stand on Monday, they’re just 2 1/2 games out of the American League’s second wild card spot. They’re going to need reinforcements for their playoff push, however, especially in the rotation.

Why Mariners saw 2021 draft as time to go ‘big upside’ with top picks

Seattle has enjoyed an impressive season from Chris Flexen, a 26-year-old right-hander they signed in the offseason after he had a strong 2020 campaign in Korea. But outside of him, there’s a lot of reason for concern.

While Yusei Kikuchi pitched well enough in the first half to make the All-Star team, his last two starts have been alarming. Logan Gilbert is on quite the roll after striking out nine in a win over the Angels on Sunday, but he’s still a rookie and likely to see opposing teams adjust soon to what he’s been doing. The Mariners also have an open spot in their five-man rotation at the moment, and that will probably be addressed before the July 30 trade deadline.

There’s one pitcher that 710 ESPN Seattle host emeritus Dave “The Groz” Grosby says could really help the Mariners’ playoff hopes, however, and he’s already in the rotation: Marco Gonzales.

The veteran left-hander was the closest thing to an ace that Seattle had in 2019 and 2020, but this season has not gone as planned. Gonzales has struggled with his command, and as a result he has a 1.465 WHIP and 21 walks in 11 starts. In the same amount of starts last season, Gonzales had a 0.947 WHIP and just seven walks.

“The biggest surprise to me about the Mariners being six games over .500 and leading the pack of teams chasing the wild card spot is they’ve done it without Marco Gonzales,” Groz says in his latest edition of Just a Minute. “With a 1-5 mark and an ERA of nearly 6, this is a man who needs to forget about the first half. If Marco can pitch back to the form of the last three years, he’s better than any deadline acquisition you could make – far better.”

Gonzales’ next start is Tuesday’s series opener against the Rockies in Denver, which is just an hour from where he grew up in Fort Collins, Colo. While it be a big game personally for Gonzales for that reason, Groz calls it the biggest start of the M’s season so far because of what a good outing for Gonzales could mean for the team.

“The boost for his teammates would be enormous,” Groz says. “It’s really hard to imagine competing for the postseason without Gonzales as a major part of it. Let’s hope that all starts on July 20.”

Listen to Groz’s full thoughts in the video below.

Follow The Groz on Twitter.

Mariners outfielder Jake Fraley placed on COVID-19 IL

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 67° | Low 50°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Athletics today at 6:40pm

Fri, Sep 17 @ 5:10 pm
Starting Pitcher:
Seattle’s Chris Flexen

Chevrolet Silverado

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brent Stecker

Salk: Mariners CF Jarred Kelenic’s September is what it looks like ‘when he truly arrives’

Jarred Kelenic was the star of the Mariners' weekend series win over the Royals, and his September has been what M's fans have been waiting for.
16 hours ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
The Associated Press

Red-hot Jarred Kelenic, fellow rookie Logan Gilbert lead Mariners past KC 7-1

Rookie Jarred Kelenic homered, doubled twice and wrapped up his impressive series, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Sunday.
2 days ago
Mariners Max Scherzer...
Brandon Gustafson

ESPN’s Jeff Passan: ‘No better guy’ for Mariners to build around than Max Scherzer

Jeff Passan thinks the Mariners should "shoot for the moon" this offseason and target three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in free agency
3 days ago
Mariners Royals...
The Associated Press

Kris Bubic and Royals dent Mariners, Yusei Kikuchi with 8-1 victory

Kris Bubic allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings and the Royals beat Seattle 8-1 to put another dent in the Mariners’ slim playoff chances.
3 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
The Associated Press

Kelenic blasts 2 HRs off newcomer Heasley, Mariners beat Royals 6-2

Jarred Kelenic spoiled the debut of Jonathan Heasley by hitting a pair of two-run homers that sent the Mariners over the Kansas City Royals 6-2.
4 days ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson... Staff

Programming details: Seahawks-Titans, Mariners-Royals radio broadcasts

The Seahawks' 2021 home opener is Sunday while the Mariners continue play on the road. Details on how to find the radio broadcasts here.
5 days ago
Groz: Best way for Mariners to improve before trade deadline is on their roster