Eight Big Questions for the 2016 Baltimore Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two

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Will Kevin Gausman finally emerge as an ace?

Armed with triple-digit heat and a devastating split-changeup, Kevin Gausman has all the makings of an ace. Three years into his Orioles career, Gausman has only shown flashes of that potential dominance. His 2015 season was all over the place. First, he was in the bullpen, then he overthrew and injured his shoulder, finally, Gausman got back in the starting rotation for good in June.

The numbers will show that Kevin Gausman’s ERA climbed from 3.57 in 2014 to 4.25 last year. He had his rocky moments for sure, but was able to increase his strikeout rate while decreasing his walk rate. In many starts, Gausman seemed to be putting it all together. He reached the seventh inning or beyond in seven starts, and the highlight of his season has to be his eight-inning, 10-strikeout performance against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 30. Overall, Gausman made three starts in which he did not allow a single earned run and eight allowing two earned runs or less.

Things are starting to come together for Kevin Gausman, and there is still reason to believe he can be an ace at the major-league level. Given a full offseason with a clearly defined role heading into the 2016 season should help.

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