Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman primed for All-Star season in 2017

Mar 13, 2017; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (39) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2017; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (39) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Baltimore Orioles’ Kevin Gausman looks to earn his first All-Star selection in 2017 as he enters his fifth season with the Orioles.

The Baltimore Orioles have suffered inconsistency from their starting pitching rotation for what seems like forever and the 2017 season looks to be no different. However, the Orioles may have finally developed an ace pitcher in right-hander Kevin Gausman.

The 26-year-old suffered a dismal start to the 2016 season, earning just one win in 15 starts with a 4.15 ERA. The slow start didn’t phase Gausman though as he put up stellar numbers in the second half.

First & Second Half — Kevin Gausman
1st Half16.1434.15151586.29442401519082353711.3048.54.32
2nd Half86.5713.10151593.08934321328192233861.2588.93.29

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As you can see from the data above, Gausman improved significantly in almost every major category in the second half of 2016. As well as the second half improvement, Gausman established a new career high for innings pitched in a single season (179.2), smashing his old career-high of 113.1 innings set in 2014.

Gausman suffered a difficult stretch last season, which began in May and lasted through July with ERA’s over the 4.00 mark in each of those months.

Months — Game-Level

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Last season, during the months of May, June, and July, Gausman combined for a 2-7 record with a 4.39 ERA in 92.1 innings pitched. Gausman also gave up 18 home runs in those three months, along with seven wild pitches, which is very uncharacteristic of Gausman.  Oddly, Gausman has yet to record a win in his career during the month of May, holding a 0-5 record with a 5.86 ERA in nine starts.

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There were plenty signs of improvement from Gausman in 2016, who recorded a new career high for strikeouts (174) in 2016, obliterating his previous career high of 103 strikeouts. In 2016, Gausman had six games where he struck out eight or more batters, helping him increase his strikeouts by 69 percent.

With his uptick in strikeouts a year ago, Gausman raised his strikeouts per nine innings from 8.5 in the first half to 8.9 in the second half resulting in yet another career high of 8.7 K/9 in 2016.

For Gausman to earn his first All-Star appearance in 2017, he must pitch better on the road. The numbers are almost night and day for Gausman as his career ERA on the road jumps up to 4.81 compared to his 3.03 ERA at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Kevin Gausman’s Career Home or Away

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With Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman still working his way back from a shoulder injury, Buck Showalter has named Gausman as the 2017 Opening Day starter. The Baltimore Orioles manager went on to confirm that Dylan Bundy will pitch the second game against the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Orioles reporter of Brittany Ghiroli.

The decision to start Gausman on Opening Day was an easy choice for Showalter. When comparing Gausman to the other pitchers in the O’s rotation, no one comes close to the effectiveness that Gausman produces, especially when it comes to walks.


In a starting rotation that led the American League in walks allowed, Gausman has consistently kept his walks per nine innings well below the league average throughout his career with the exception of 2014.

Kevin Gausman’s 2017 spring training

If Gausman’s spring training numbers are any indication for what’s in store for in 2017, then the right-hander is well on his way to an All-Star season.

In 10 innings pitched this spring, Gausman produced a 1.80 ERA with 13 strikeouts and just a .167 opponent batting average.

Gausman pitched a gem a couple weeks ago, tossing five scoreless innings, along with a mesmerizing eight strikeouts.

Next: Future is now for Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy

It’s safe to say that 2017 is a monumental season for Gausman, who hopes to finally have a breakout season and earn his first All-Star appearance at the age of 26.