Baltimore Orioles: A breakout season from Kevin Gausman
The Orioles, like many other teams, have quite a few holes to fill but limited funds available. One of those holes lies in the starting rotation, where the probable loss of Wei-Yin Chen leaves the O’s short-staffed. While the team is certainly looking to add a rotation arm via trade or free agency, the key to a successful season may already be on the 40-man roster.
Waiting for the Kevin Gausman era to really begin is becoming tiresome in Birdland. Orioles fans are used to failure from young starting pitchers (see: Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Troy Patton, Daniel Cabrera, Hayden Penn, Adam Loewen, Jake Arrieta, etc.) and are keeping their fingers crossed that Gausman is the real deal. He certainly has the “stuff” to dominate major league hitters, but the results have not been there yet.
This is the year for Gausman to prove himself. He had lasik surgery this offseason and, as much as we all will miss the Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn look, his improved eyesight should benefit him. A big year from Gausman, as well as bounce-back seasons from Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez, would be huge for the Orioles.
Stocking Stuffers: a corner outfielder, an iron knee for Manny Machado, and a new left-handed power bat to keep the fans on Eutaw Street entertained.