Last season, much was made about the masterful job Orioles manager Buck Showalter did with the patchwork starting rotation in order to use the strong bullpen to his advantage. This season, life at Camden Yards for the pitchers has come back down to earth, it seems, so reinforcements are being called in, or in this case, called up.
According to MASN.com & FoxSports.com, the team is preparing to call up highly touted starting pitcher & 2012 top draft pick Kevin Gausman to make the start in Toronto on Thursday against the Blue Jays.
Gausman, 22, rated as the team’s overall #2 prospect, may be coming up to the big leagues earlier than expected, but it doesn’t come as a huge shock, especially with the pitching struggles the team has dealt with this season. The team’s number one rated prospect, fellow pitcher Dylan Bundy, has been dealing with some lingering arm soreness and isn’t scheduled to start throwing again for a couple of weeks.
According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com,
Entering Wednesday, the Orioles had received three consecutive starts of six innings or more, but prior to that, the club endured a seven-game stretch in which it got five innings or fewer from its starter six times. The O’s have already used 10 starting pitchers, and Gausman would be taking the turn of Jair Jurrjens, who allowed four runs over five innings in his one start before being optioned on Tuesday.
While he is only 2-4 with a 3.11 in eight starts for AA Bowie this season, his current strikeout to walk ratio is the stuff that makes scouts drool, 49 : 5. It is that stat, according to FoxSports.com, along with Gausman’s command, that gives the team confidence that Gausman is ready to make the leap to the major leagues. He has pitched just 64 1/3 pro innings, but he has been pitching well as of late, fanning 10 batters in his most recent outing.
Gausman did spend a lot of time with the major league club during spring training, but here’s a quick video the Baysox put together to introduce him to Orioles fans.
It’s tough NOT to think about a comparison between Gausman and wunderkid 3rd baseman Manny Machado, who made the big league jump at age 20 last season and has started extremely well this season in the field and at the plate.
Gausman will need to be afforded some time to work out the kinks and butterflies that accompany being called up for the first time, but there’s a reason the O’s selected him so high last year. Be sure to check out the Orioles this Thursday, May 23 against Toronto as the seemingly never-ending game of musical pitchers continues and Gausman makes his first major league start.
Cofirmation: Kevin Gausman is getting the start Thursday at Toronto to begin his big league career. Last year’s No. 1 pick jumping from AA
— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) May 22, 2013
For those of you on Twitter, Gausman’s handle is @KevinGausman.