The Orioles will recall Kevin Gausman, the system’s No. 2 prospect, today to start against the Tigers. The righthander has been limited so far to 75 pitches per outing at Triple-A Norfolk as Baltimore scaled back his workload in a plan to use him in the majors later this season.
The 2012 first-rounder from Louisiana State had limited success at the major league level during his 2013 callup. In 20 appearances (five starts), Gausman went 3-5, 5.66, but his peripherals are solid (51 hits in 48 innings, 49/13 SO/BB ratio).
In six starts at Norfolk this year, he’s gone 0-1, 2.08, but his control—outstanding last season—has been erratic, with 14 walks in 26 innings. Gausman’s longest outing to date has been five innings on April 20, and he just recently returned from a stint on the disabled list after he contracted pneumonia.
Gausman has not been scored upon in his past three outings, totaling 14 1/3 innings, and at his best he sits in the 90s with his fastball and has good command of his changeup. He’s still working to gain consistency with his slider.
What To Expect
The Orioles are in the bottom third in baseball in ERA, quality starts and opponent average, so this could be more than a one-shot deal for Gausman.
However, Gausman had only 145 pro innings entering 2014, so Baltimore might return the righthander to Norfolk to monitor his innings and pitches, rather than keep him around and force the bullpen to eat more innings when Gausman pitches.
For what it’s worth, Gausman did have his best big league outing in 2013 against Detroit—six innings, five hits, one run, four strikeouts, no walks—and the Tigers do feature a primarily righthanded-hitting lineup.
Gausman might be worth adding to your roster for today’s game, but don’t expect him to give you many innings—and consequently many wins—this season.