ST. LOUIS — With a baseball double feature Saturday, the Cardinals turned to Marco Gonzales to fill in on the hill against the Cubs.
The teams are scheduled to make up a rain out from May 14 and the 22-year-old will start the second game.
“He’s had a nice run down in Memphis,” GM John Mozeliak said. “Looking at our options without having to reshape our bullpen or reshuffle if you will, being able to insert him for that one game made a lot of sense.”
Gonzales was called up to the Cardinals from AA Springfield on June 25 and made three starts. He had a stellar start to his debut, but struggled overall, going 0-2 with an ERA of 7.07.
Since being sent to AAA Memphis, he has gone 4-1 in eight starts with a 3.35 ERA. He’s struck out 39 in 45.2 innings work, walking only nine.
“He’s done a nice job since we’ve sent him back, he did a nice job when he was here,” Mike Matheny said. “I think there were some things we wanted to see him work on and hopefully he’s improved which makes him more well-rounded and be able to keep working on things that all young pitchers need to work on.”
Gonzales is a control pitcher, hovering around 90 miles per hour with his fastball and using an above-average change up as a compliment. He nibbles at the zone rather than overpowers hitters, a difficult task in the major leagues, especially for someone who was pitching in college a little over a year ago.
“I think being up the first time, he can put that behind him and use that as a learning curve and take advantage of that,” Mozeliak said. “I do think just from how he’s been pitching and what he’s been able to accomplish in Memphis, he’s obviously someone we felt comfortable with or confident with giving a start.”
Gonzales will follow Justin Masterson in the double header. He is eligible to join the club under the "26 man rule," which allows teams to add an extra player for a day/night double header. He will have to return to the minors after the game.