“You are a little bit more aggressive,” Gausman said. “That is one thing I noticed. When you come out of the ‘pen, you go right at hitters a lot more. That is one thing I wish I had done more when I started - not try to be too fine and go right at guys.
“The biggest thing is getting ready. You don’t have the luxury of taking your time and having 10 minutes to throw. You have to be ready realistically in about 10 to 20 pitches.”
In three relief appearances, Gausman has pitched seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball with one walk, six strikeouts and a .160 average against.
“I think I kind of got used to it really quick,” he said. “After the first time I did it, I felt like I knew what I had to do to be ready. Right now, I feel like I can help out the team being out there and throwing some important innings.
“This role has kind of helped me a lot to just kind of build some confidence and find out what works for me. I feel good and I like where I’m at right now.”
There is an age-old debate in the sport about young pitching prospects. Are they better served logging more innings as a starter in the minors or is their development helped by pitching out of the ‘pen in the majors?
“I think whenever you are playing at this level, think it helps more than anything because this is the level you’ll be at eventually,” Gausman said. “I think I am in a good spot where I can help the team.”
It may surprise you to find out Gausman has pitched out of the ‘pen before and as a closer. It was in an international competition in the fall of 2010 for Team USA.
“The last time I pitched out of the ‘pen, Manny (Machado) was my shortstop,” Gausman said. “I threw the last inning against Cuba and we won the Pan American Games. I got the save and the last out was a grounder to Manny at short.”