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Mariners Mid-Season Review: Offense Meets And Pitching Exceeds Expectations

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Pitcher Marco Gonzales has been a key factor in the success for the Mariners this year.

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.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.