Marco Gonzales set for Pirate debut in Grapefruit League action

Feb 20, 2024; Bradenton, FL, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Marco Gonzales (27) poses for
Feb 20, 2024; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Marco Gonzales (27) poses for / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

In Tuesday's Grapefruit League action, left-handed starting pitcher Marco Gonzales is set to make his Pittsburgh Pirates debut

Thus far in Grapefruit League play, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 0-3. Their latest setback was an 8-4 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon. This loss was highlighted by a promising outing from Roansy Contreras, and a pair of home runs by top hitting prospect Termarr Johnson.

Tuesday afternoon the Pirates return to LECOM Park in Bradenton to host the 1-2 Atlanta Braves. A pair of veteran lefties will start the game as the Braves send Chris Sale to the mound while the Pirates will send Marco Gonzales to the hill.

This will be the first time Gonzales has toed the rubber for the Pirates. He was acquired from the Braves via trade on December 5th, just two days after the Braves acquired him from the Seattle Mariners.

Last season, Gonzales was limited to just 10 starts and 50 innings pitched with the Mariners. Gonzales posted a 5.22 ERA and a 4.28 FIP, with an 8.4% walk rate, 15.8% strikeout rate, and he allowed home runs at a 0.90 HR/9.

His 2023 season ended following season-ending surgery in August. This came after Gonzales had been on the injured list since a May 28th start due to a nerve issue. In fact, the final start Gonzales made last season saw him allow 1 run in 5.2 innings pitched against the Pirates.

While Gonzales could prove to provide a boost to the Pirate starting rotation, he also comes with his fair share of red flags and concerns. In addition to his injury concerns, Gonzales also struggled during the 2022 season.

First pitch from LECOM Park is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET. You can listen to the game locally on 100.1 FM, as well as KDKA AM 1020. The game can also be listened to on the MLB At-Bat App.

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