Kevin’s Jon Morosi broke the news last night that Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman is headed to the big leagues for Thursday’s start in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The beat writers and other reporters quickly confirmed Morosi’s report and the Bowie Baysox announced that Gausman has been scratched from his scheduled start at Akron tonight.

So yeah, it’s pretty much official.

Gausman isn’t on the Orioles 40 man roster, so they’ll likely wait until tomorrow to make the official announcement. They could place Taylor Teagarden on the 60 day disabled list or DFA one of their fringe players to make room for the 22 year old.

The righty heads to the big leagues after an outing in Trenton in which he struck out a career high ten batters over six innings. He leaves the Eastern League with a 3.11 ERA, .246 batting average against and (my personal favorite stat) 9.80 K/BB.

There’s tons of hype regarding Gausman, a lot of which comes from people who have never actually seen him pitch. If you’re looking for some solid information on the kid, I recently posted a reactionary piece on a FanGraphs’ column about Gausman being ready to face big league hitters.

For some more detailed information, definitely check out Zach Mortimer’s scouting report on Gausman over on Baseball Prospectus. Here’s what I took away from reading that.

  • Gausman is a power pitcher who’s fastball velocity is between 96-99 MPH. Mortimer says Gausman’s command on the pitch is above average with “late heavy armside run.” He grades it at 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
  • His slider is a work in progress. “Fringy,” according to Mortimer with “sharp late bite” between 82-85 MPH. A 45 pitch. This is the first season he’s used the slider as his primary breaking ball.
  • But I’m most excited to see Gausman’s changeup, which he throws between 84-86 MPH. Mortimer writes that Gausman uses it on both sides of the plate and fools batters with good arm speed a sink.

The changeup is devastator with great life and great command. He is not afraid to back it up in any count either. Kevin Gausman brings the total package, three potential plus pitches with a near elite level fastball. The arsenal combined with the demeanor leads me to believe that Gausman is one of the rare minor leaguers that you can throw the no. 1 ceiling out on.

Everyone I’ve talked to about Gausman raves about his command. That’s evident in the K/BB. The Orioles had previously been working with Gausman on throwing more pitches out of the zone in pitcher’s counts because they thought he threw too many strikes. Certainly a good problem to have.

With 46 1/3 innings under his belt at Double-A, Gausman will likely throw 100-120 more this season. The Orioles have had three straight quality starts, but their rotation without Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez (prior to yesterday) was certainly exposed during their recent six-game losing streak.

It only makes sense for them to call on Gausman, even if it is before the Super Two cutoff.