Gausman expected to start on Thursday
The Orioles are expected to promote top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman to make Thursday’s start in Toronto with the organization believing that the 22-year-old is their best option.
Gausman will make his Major League debut against the Blue Jays –working on on an extra day of rest– a promotion that is sooner than expected, but not completely a shock given the struggles of Baltimore’s starting rotation. A source confirmed the pending promotion to MLB.com Tuesday night.
The Orioles have gotten three consecutive starts of six innings or more, but went a seven-game stretch prior to that in which the team got five innings or fewer from their starter six times. They’ve already used 10 different starting pitchers and Gausman would be taking the turn of Jair Jurrjens, who allowed four runs over five innings in his one start before being optioned on Tuesday.
Manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday afternoon T.J. McFarland and Jake Arrieta were the two primary candidates for that start, but it’s now expected to be Gausman, who is coming off a career-high 10-strikeout outing for Double-A Bowie Friday night. Gausman allowed an earned run on four hits over six innings in that 90-pitch outing and he has a 3.11 ERA this season for the Baysox.
The Orioles’ first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Gausman has allowed 21 runs (16 earned) on 44 hits over 46 1/3 innings, striking out 49 and walking just five. He is considered the organization’s second-best pitching prospect, behind only Dylan Bundy, who is currently hurt. Gausman was impressive in big league Spring Training, staying much longer than expected and fitting in exceptionally well among teammates in his first Major League clubhouse.