Major league baseball’s All-Star break is next week. That typically signals the halfway point of the season. The Mariners had four players selected to the All-Star Game, and they boast the fourth best record in all of baseball.
KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel says that has a lot to do with the offense living up to expectations and the starting pitching exceeding expectations.
The starting pitcher that most stands out to Art is Marco Gonzales.
Gonzales had Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2016. Art says you never really know how well a pitcher will recover from that procedure. Gonzales has been impressive most of the season, only giving up two runs in his last 22 innings pitched.
No season is without some disappointment. Art says the biggest disappointment so far is the 80-game suspension of second baseman Robinson Cano.
Cano was suspended for using a banned substance. Art says while Cano has said he’s sorry, he still hasn’t admitted that he knew what he was doing.
Art says that one of the missing puzzle pieces that could really help the Mariners down the stretch is trading for a veteran starting pitcher.
But Art says the Mariners don’t have a lot to offer in the way of young prospects. As a result, he says the Mariners may need to look at their veterans as trade bait, and the most likely candidate might be All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz.
Despite his success, Cruz is in the final year of his contract, which might be appealing to other teams. The trade could also make room for Cano when he returns from his suspension.