Marco Gonzales enters 2019 as the Mariners’ top returning starting pitcher, coming off his first full MLB season in which he went 13-9 with a 4.00 ERA, including a five-start stretch from June 29 to July 29 where he posted a 5-0 record with a 1.57 ERA.

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If you ask him, Gonzales would tell you he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in now without the help of veteran rotation-mates Wade LeBlanc and Mike Leake.

In an interview with the Mariners Hot Stove Show on 710 ESPN Seattle, Gonzales pointed out that 2018 was a year in which he learned a ton about how to use his pitch repertoire, and a lot of that had to do with watching and talking to his fellow Mariners starters.

“That was the culmination of really learning from other guys – guys like Wade LeBlanc, James Paxton, and probably the most important guy that people may not know is Mike Leake,” Gonzales told Mike Blowers, Rick Rizzs and Shannon Drayer. “(Leake is) a guy that just has balance and feel for all of his pitches. Being able to watch a Mike Leake bullpen every week, those are things that I really learned from and put into my own game.

“You learn how to kinda push and pull the hitters in and off the plate and keep guys off balance, and I learned how my pitches kind of work like that, which pitches work with each other and which pitches don’t. … Putting that all together helped me put together a strong balance and repertoire to attack hitters.”

Last year Gonzales found great success with his cutter, a pitch he had to re-introduce after initially leaving it on the shelf in his return from Tommy John surgery in …read more

Source:: sports.MyNorthwest.com – Sports


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