By now, everyone has heard the news that Orioles first round selection in the 2012 draft, Kevin Gausman is set to make his major league debut on Thursday. Gausman, of course, started out the season in Bowie, where he was to join Dylan Bundy in a rotation of pure awesome. Until Bundy went and screwed that all up by being hurt. In any event, the Baysox are 21-21 as of Monday night's action, good for 3rd in the division, 4.5 back of Detroit Tigers affiliate the Erie Sea Wolves. The Baysox are riding a hot streak as a club, going 7-3 in their last 10 games played and winners of 3 straight.
Who is Hot?
OF Henry Urrutia is, that's for sure. Despite not playing in games for nearly two whole years due to visa issues, Urrutia's first pro action in the US has been fun to watch. The switch-hitting OF is slashing .337/.413/.554 with 14 XBH (3 HR), walking 12 times and striking out 16. Fringey power probably limits him to 4th OF status in the bigs, but hey, since when has having fringe power kept Nick Markakis out of the lineup?
C/1B/OF Caleb Joseph is also playing well (.276/.341/.513) with 20 XBH and a team leading 8 homers. Started out his pro career as a catcher, has seen time at 1B and LF this season as well. Defense is so/so and likely going to keep him from being a major contributor in Baltimore, but Joseph has displayed some power in Bowie and is possibly next to move up to Norfolk among the org players.
OF Xavier Avery just got his bus ticket to Norfolk punched and is going to be patrolling their OF with former teammate LJ Hoes. The X-Man showed some progress in his approach at the plate, drawing praise from Baysox Manager Gary Kendall for his hard work against left handed pitching. Xavier slashed .300/.391/.406 before his promotion, swiping 13 bases in 15 attempts.
RHP Kevin Gausman is now a Baltimore Oriole. After three appearances in 2012 and 8 starts in Bowie this year, the Goose has gotten the call from Dan Duquette that his next start will be on Thursday in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Godspeed. Goose, of course, has had a very good start of the season. 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA, Gausman has demonstrated the stuff and control that the Orioles were so high on, striking out 49 batters and walking only 5 in 46.1 innings pitched this year. This was accomplished despite being told to drop his curveball and focus exclusively on the slider as his breaking ball of choice to complement his plus fastball and changeup.
RHP Mike Wright has been incredibly impressive this year as well, running his record to 6-0 and pitching to a 3.69 ERA. Posting a 43/15 K/BB in 46.1 innings, Wright throws hard and mixes his pitches well and could also be moving up a level within the next month or so.
Who is Not?
OF Kyle Hudson has seen his playing time drop in recent weeks, as the speedster has simply been meh with a bat in his hands. Slash lines like .256/.350/.281 and striking out 27 times to 17 walks do not inspire confidence.
IF/OF Garabez Rosa has been moved around from SS to 2B and now RF in an attempt to demonstrate flexibility in the field. It's a good thing, as the live-armed Rosa has commited a team-leading 9 errors in the field and has only taken 2 walks all season.
1B Brandon Waring had a very promising year in 2012. He has had a not so promising 2013, with an OBP that has matched his SLG for much of the year and striking out 26 times in 72 at bats. He has had a good week, hitting a couple of home runs and adding a double tonight, but still, get it together Brandon.
IF/OF Ty Kelly has had an up and down start to the 2013 season but a move to his natural position at 3B in the past week and a half will hopefully kickstart the remainder of his campaign. Reason to hope: in his last 10 games, Kelly has an OPS of .841 with 6 doubles in 40 AB.
LHP Eddie Gamboa was tutored in the ways of the knuckler this offseason and has deployed it with mixed success this season, but has managed to keep the ball in the park for the most part and has a respectable K/BB of 37/14
LHP Jason Gurka has been the go-to lefty from the pen this year, pitching 24.2 innings and posting an ERA of 1.46. Gurka was a 15th round selection and has struck out 29 batters while only walking 7, giving up less than a baserunner per inning.