Double-A Bowie right-hander Kevin Gausman made his fifth start Sunday for the Baysox. He threw well, allowing just five hits and one run over a career-high 7 2/3 innings. He threw a season-high 94 pitches, but took a tough 1-0 loss at home against Harrisburg.
Gausman is 1-3 with a 3.77 ERA. Over 28 2/3 innings, he has a 29-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Eastern League left-handed batters are hitting .283 against him and right-handed batters are hitting .258. He allows an average of .208 when pitching with runners in scoring position.
But here is something very interesting. In the three games when Brian Ward has been his catcher, Gausman's numbers were much better than the other two games, where he was caught by Luis Martinez. This is no knock on Martinez, but maybe is a bit of a compliment to Ward, a catcher with a good reputation on defense and who pitchers seem to like throwing to.
In three starts with Ward as his catcher, Gausman has worked 18 2/3 frames, allowing 13 hits and three earned runs for an ERA of 1.45. Opposing batters hit just .194 (13-for-67) against him in those outings.
In the other two games, he has allowed 18 hits and 12 runs (nine earned) over 10 innings for an ERA of 8.10. Opposing batters hit .375 (18-for-48) against him then.
This is, as they say, a small sample size for sure, and I know I am analyzing a small slice of a big season. It also matters who the opponent was on those days and one of the games where he gave up six runs was against an Erie team leading the league in batting at .284. But he's also had two good starts against Akron, and that club ranks fourth in the league in runs.
Also worth noting, perhaps, is that Gausman has given up 12 earned runs this season and seven have come in the second inning. That is also when he has allowed both of his homers.
Gausman's 29-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season is now the best among qualified starting pitchers in all of minor league baseball, and is second-best to Adam Wainwright (37-to-1) in all of baseball. Gausman has walked the fewest batters per nine innings among starters in the EL.
Counting a three-inning playoff start for Bowie last September that does not show up in his season stats from 2012, Gausman has now pitched 46 2/3 pro innings. In that time, he has walked two and fanned 47 batters.
Planeta released: The Orioles today released 23-year-old outfielder Mikey Planeta. A 27th-round pick in 2009, he was batting .135 in 12 games with Single-A Frederick. Outfielder Johnny Ruettiger moved from Bowie to Frederick to take the roster spot.
If you missed it: The "O's Xtra" crew was nice enough to have me on the pregame broadcast Sunday with Jim Hunter to talk about some O's minor league topics. The show proved that I do, in fact, own a tie. If you didn't see it, you can click here.