Kevin Gausman will be making his 2014 Orioles debut on Wednesday as he will face off against former Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. Wei-Yin Chen had previously been scheduled to start on Wednesday for the O’s. According to Baseball America, Gausman is the Orioles #2 prospect right behind SP Dylan Bundy and Gausman is ranked #20 amongst all prospects on the prestigious list for 2014.
Kevin Gausman had been placed on the disabled list earlier this month after he struggled to get over a case of pneumonia. Last Saturday for the Norfolk Tides Gausman went only 4 2/3 innings, but still managed to strike out 6 batters. Gausman had been on a very limited pitch count this year during his starts for the Tides in preparation for this call up.
It is not yet known who Gausman will be replacing in the starting rotation or if Gausman will only be with the major league squad for one start before being sent back down to Norfolk. He would replace Miguel Gonzalez or Wei-Yin Chen in the starting rotation if the move to the major leagues is permanent. Neither of the 2 pitchers have been too bad, but they have not been able to pitch deep into games or maintain consistency between starts. According to the Kansas City Royals notes regarding the series versus the Orioles, Miguel Gonzalez will be starting for the O’s against Yordano Ventura on Thursday. This could mean that Wei-Yin Chen’s start is simply being skipped, will be placed on the disabled list, or could even possibly be traded. Trade rumors regarding acquiring a backup catcher have been swirling ever since Matt Wieters was placed on the disabled list a few days ago. The Orioles have a decent amount of pitching depth when taking into consideration Gausman being called up, possibilities of Zach Britton being stretched out from his bullpen role, and Johan Santana becoming available in June so Chen is a quality trade option if the opportunity arises to upgrade a position on the team.
(Update: Buck Showalter announced Wei-Yin Chen will be starting on Thursday against the Royals. Miguel Gonzalez will be temporarily moved into the bullpen.)
If you watched Kevin Gausman last year when he was with the major league club you may notice a slight difference tomorrow in his appearance. Gausman started wearing glasses this year during Spring Training because of complications that occurred when he would wear contact lenses so those who will be watching the game tomorrow will witness a bespectacled Kevin Gausman.
It’s an interesting decision for Showalter to have Gausman make his 2014 O’s debut against the Detroit Tigers who have one of the best lineups in the American League. However, it makes more sense after considering his only career major league quality start occurred against the Tigers last season. Gausman hasn’t given up a run in his last 3 starts for the Triple-A squad so hopefully that success will be able to translate relatively well to the Major Leagues. The Orioles starting pitching hasn’t been overwhelmingly effective thus far so a shake up in the rotation could be a refreshing change to the general outlook of the starting rotation.
(Photo Courtesy of: baltimoresportsandlife.com)