Roughly four years ago, the Cardinals selected Marco Gonzales out of Gonzaga and he worked himself onto the Major League roster in just one year.
He even picked up a couple of postseason wins.
But, as we know in sports, injuries are unpredictable and adversity takes a toll on the road to recovery. In the past two years, Gonzales has had Tommy John Surgery and got traded from St. Louis to Seattle.
Despite the up-and-down career to start, the former All-American will only be 26 years old this season, so one would argue the man is still reaching the prime of his career. Gonzales, along with versatile player Taylor Motter and Mike Marjama, arrived at the Warehouse Performance Center Wednesday evening to meet Mariners fans in our area.
As you can imagine, Gonzales is big favorite in these parts (pitched for the Zags from 2011-2013) and he was stoked when he knew the caravan was taking him back to his old stomping grounds.
"When I found out I was going to be on this caravan stop I lit up because this place is obviously so special to me," Gonzales said. "Not just because of the games we won or what the number say, but the people here. That's my favorite part of this place. I had some very special times and memories."
As for life on the field, Gonzales had a great season in Triple-A during his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but the stuff in the MLB didn't quite cut it as he started eight games, only earning one win with an ERA beyond 6.00.
Marco reflected on his midseason trade to Seattle and what he's expecting for the upcoming season now that he's healthier.
"It was a wild ride," Gonzales said. "It was something I'll never forget. All the work you put in for one organization and then the next day you're wearing different colors...but by the end of the transition period I was pretty comfortable and the organization and the guys have been very welcoming to me. I have all the confidence in the world in my arm. My health problems are behind me so I'm ready to go compete and show what I can do."