Down to the Minors Again?!
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Gausman was the starting pitcher for Wednesday night’s game and, no, it was not for the Baltimore Orioles. In fact, he started for in Aberdeen for the IronBirds as they faced the Staten Island Yankees.
This is the second time in the past couple of weeks that Gausman has been sent down to the Minors. Despite his quality starts as of late, the right-hander cannot seem to lock up his spot on the Orioles active roster and it seems that the Orioles front office is throwing a boomerang with the young player as it seems like he will make a start for the O’s and then be immediately sent back down to the Minors.
This may do the Colorado native more harm than good. The last time Gausman was sent down to the Minor Leagues, he pitched one inning for the Norfolk Tides. In that start, the Tides [and Orioles] only had him pitch the first inning. In that inning, he gave up three hits and two earned runs.
Any doubt about moving Gausman to the Minors after three straight quality starts were further heightened after his following start for the Orioles once he was brought back up to the Majors this past Friday. He only last five innings; gave up seven hits and five earned runs; walked four batters and only struck out one.
Now this move of Gausman to Aberdeen may have a similar effect. Tonight, he pitched the first two innings and allowed one hit and one earned run in that time. Although he did not get the loss for the game as Aberdeen fell to the Yankees by a score of 9-5, the Orioles are getting Gausman into a bad habit.
Despite what some Minor League players would tell you, the hitting in the Minors is nothing compared to the hitting in the Major Leagues. With that being said, having to pitch against these sub-par batters and then having to come back to Baltimore to pitch against some of the best bats in both the country and the world, it is a tricky thing for Gausman to handle. This is especially true for a young pitcher who will be expected to be a permanent part of the rotation coming into the 2015 season.
Jim Palmer voiced his disapproval last night during the Orioles broadcast on MASN about the entire situation. “I HATE that,” Palmer said. “I know they run this organization but…they better get Gausman up here on a regular plan.”
In addition to this, Gausman is not the pitcher in the Orioles rotation who should be getting time to pitch in the Minors. Rather, it should be Miguel Gonzalez. He is posting a 4.56 ERA and is averaging just over 5.0 innings pitched per start. Gausman, I’m sure, is getting sick of having to pack his bags to move from the Majors to the Minors and vice versa. Orioles fans, including Jim Palmer, are getting sick of the “flip-flopping” as well.
Just as Jim Palmer said when he went on his rant. I am not making the decision, but the Orioles better figure out a way to keep Gausman up in the Majors for good because he will be on of your key starters moving forward in the years to come.