Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman is ready for his team to give him a heavy workload. After spending the 2013 season filling a number of rolls within the Orioles’ staff, Gausman is excited to handle the rigors of being a major league starting pitcher.
The Baltimore right-hander joined Ken Weinman and yours truly on The Fan Tuesday night and said he is prepared to pitch 200 innings for Buck Showalter and the Birds in 2014. Being a humble guy, Gausman will do whatever is asked of him this spring and into the regular season. However, the 23-year-old out of LSU considers himself to be a top-of-the-rotation talent and wants to pitch to that level.
Gausman, who throws up to five pitches with plus velocity, had his ups and downs last season as a starter and reliever. He finished with a 3-5 record with a 5.66 ERA and posted 49 K’s in 47.2 IP. He was also sent back to the minors on two occasions and admitted that the 2013 campaign was a learning experience for him.
With Dave Wallace coming to Baltimore as the new pitching coach, Gausman and the rest of the staff will get a chance to work with a proven mentor who helped develop Pedro Martinez, Orel Hershiser and John Wetteland, among others. So, hopefully, he will learn even more this year.
After losing Scott Feldman to the Houston Astros via free-agency, the Orioles have yet to replace him with a proven veteran starting pitcher. With Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris expected to be part of the five-man rotation, there is a spot available for Gausman.
He will have to outperform Zach Britton, Brian Matusz and others to earn that coveted rotation slot. Based on his comments to me and Ken, he seems to be more than ready for that challenge.
Like most Baltimore Orioles fans, I have not been overly impressed with their offseason, so far.
If players like Kevin Gausman live up to their potential in 2014, most of our complaining would have been for nothing.
Here’s hoping that will be the case.