The big leagues haven’t exactly welcomed Kevin Gausman with a nice warm embrace. After two starts with Baltimore, Gausman is 0-2 with an 11.00 ERA. On Tuesday in D.C., the Nationals scored seven runs on eight hits in four innings off the 22 year old.
Fans in Baltimore are already drawing comparisons to guys like Adam Loewen and Hayden Penn and throwing Gausman in the group of highly touted Orioles pitchers that disappoint when called up to the Majors. After just nine innings with the Orioles, this is an asinine assumption.
Buck Showalter displayed his confidence in Gausman after the game by telling reporters that he will start on Sunday for the Orioles against the Detroit Tigers, his most challenging task yet. “He’s a good young man and a good athlete with a bright future ahead of him and I’m real glad he’s ours,” Showalter told Jim Hunter on MASN.
In his debut against the Blue Jays, I saw some incredibly positive signs from the young righty. He worked out of jams and showed great composure on the mound. Tuesday, he kept his pitches up and struggled to locate his off-speed stuff. “After a rain delay, it was probably a little challenging for both young pitchers, sitting around for a while, but that’s part of pitching up here and that happens in the minor leagues and that happens at LSU, too,” Showalter added. “It’s all something he’ll learn from and he’ll get better.”
It’s certainly no excuse for the performance, but I’m looking forward to watching what he’s got on a normal day.
I’ve been outspoken about removing Jim Johnson from the closer’s role because I don’t think the Orioles can sacrifice wins to get him back normal. Some may argue the same point for Gausman. Learning at the big league level is important, but the O’s want to contend and need the starters that give them the best chance to do so. With Wei-Yin Chen on the DL, I still think Gausman is their best bet. The team obviously wasn’t impressed in what they saw from Jair Jurrjens and he hasn’t shown much important since being sent back to Triple-A.
This guy is the future though. His rope is going to be longer than others we’ve seen come up and go down. Buckle up and enjoy the process. Hopefully he finds that location soon and helps the Orioles stay in the race for the postseason.