Don’t Mess with his Groove
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Friday night Kevin Gausman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Many Orioles fans were scratching their heads initially wondering why the move was made because of Gausman’s three dominant performances since being brought up to the Majors a couple of weeks ago.
However, they were quickly calmed down when it was made known that the move was simply procedural to make room for a couple of fresh relievers until Gausman’s next start, which will be this Friday in the first game of the doubleheader against the Rays. Gausman will not have to miss a start with the move and Buck Showalter made it known that this move had nothing to do with how he was performing.
Nevertheless, even with this information made known to them, there were still many fans who were upset about this move. They said this move will mess with the former LSU pitcher’s psyche. These critics of the move also sends the wrong message to Gausman and other young pitcher in the Orioles organization that even if they pitch well they may become a roster casualty.
Orioles closer, Zach Britton, spoke up and defended the move saying it is part of the game and sometimes things like this happen.
However, there may be some speculation about the move after Norfolk’s game on Monday when Gausman got the start. Although he got the start, he was limited to just one inning of work having to pitch in Baltimore in just four days.
Just this one inning of work may have hurt Gausman’s “groove” heading in the game against the Rays on Friday.
In the first inning alone, Gausman threw 23 pitches; 14 of them being strikes. Despite throwing so many strikes, he gave up three hits, one of which was a two-run home run.
In his past three starts, Gausman has not given up a single run in the first inning and has only allowed two earned runs in 19 total innings pitched.
If this rough inning of work will hurt Gausman in the long run will be seen on Friday when the Orioles take on the Rays in a division game.