The Baltimore Orioles pitching rotation has been a story to watch throughout the season. Kevin Gausman, one of the league’s top prospects, was called up to make the start today against the Detroit Tigers.
Gausman was pitching on short rest, so the Orioles weren’t expecting him to go more than four or five innings. Because of that, Buck Showalter had starter Miguel Gonzalez in the bullpen ready to roll when Gausman finished his “start”. Below you’ll find the quick rundown of Gausman’s day, as in-depth as possible.
- The young right-hander showed relief-type velocity in today’s game. He hit 98MPH in the first inning, and stay consistently in the mid-90s all day. If the O’s want to use him as a long reliever in the future, speed will be huge in determining his success.
- As we said in the last point, Gausman proved again that he can be a strong three-inning reliever. His first three have always seemed to be his strongest, and today wasn’t an exception. He’ll need to mix his pitches a bit more, however. He relied on the fastball a bit too much today.
- Location was key for Gausman in his early-inning success today. He often stifled hitters with great location on the corners, changing the eye levels as well. This has to be looked at as a positive sign for the Orioles coaching staff.
- Today pretty much solidified that Gausman isn’t going to be a strong starter in the MLB. He significantly fell off in the fourth inning, showing that his location and velocity combined can only last for a short period of time.
- His off-speed stuff just wasn’t there today. While this could be a temporary issue, it’s definitely concerning. I noticed him falling off the mound several times, forcing his off-speed stuff to the left of the plate.
- The bottom of the order proved to be tough outs for Gausman today, as they managed four hits in the third and fourth innings. He’ll need to get the “easy outs” to be effective outside of AAA.
Future in the MLB
Gausman can be successful, he just has to be used in the proper way. Showalter is a smart manager, and he’ll realize that his young righty can be effective in a long-relief role moving ahead. While Gausman is in a bit of a limbo stage at this point, I expect him to be back in the MLB soon if he gets demoted after this performance. He fights hard, he’ll just need to figure out what kind of pitcher he’ll be moving ahead.