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Kevin Gausman – Turnaround Ahead?

Kevin Gausman Keith Allison/ via


Kevin Gausman – Turnaround Ahead?

Gausman’s Previous Seasons

Kevin Gausman was the fourth overall draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. Gausman was expected to make an immediate difference as a starting pitcher in the major leagues. After posting several good seasons, Gausman posted a 9-12 record with 3.61 ERA and 1.28 WHIP last season. Many believed Gausman made the jump to becoming a very successful major league pitcher. However, Gausman’s stat line for the 2017 season definitely jumps off the page in a bad way, but is Gausman due for a turnaround?

Gausman’s 2017 Season

One of the newer stats to look at is SIERA or skill-interactive ERA. This statistic determines whether or not the pitcher’s ERA was representative of their true skill level. Prior to this season, Gausman’s SIERA had only barely eclipsed 4.00 in 2014. This season Gausman is posting a 5.26 SIERA with a 3-7 record, 6.47 ERA, and 1.884 WHIP. The real question is why has Gausman’s SIERA and ERA have had such a dramatic increase this season.

Looking further into some stats, we can find out the truth behind Gausman’s struggles. One of the best stats to look at is BABIP, or batting average on balls in play, to determine if the pitcher is simply getting unlucky. Gausman has an uncharacteristically high.374 BABIP this season, whereas the MLB average BABIP is .296. This shows some serious potential turnaround coming for Gausman this season as he is getting incredibly unlucky on balls put in play.

Until this season, Gausman has had great control throughout his career in the major leagues. Gausman’s average BB% for his previous 4 major league seasons was around 6.73%, and this season Gausman’s BB% is all the way up to 10.2%. This directly affects Gausman’s ERA and WHIP and help explain the increase from the previous seasons.

Looking Forward?

Gausman’s incredibly high BABIP and BB-rate compared to his career suggest a turnaround in the near future. As his incredibly high BABIP regresses to the league average and his control comes back, Gausman will be able to limit the amount baserunners and runs scored, launching his turnaround this season.