Gausman. Gas, Man. Okay, yeah that was bad.
But in all honesty, what a great trade acquisition at the deadline, one that many Braves fans were less than excited about. Most of us wanted Chris Archer. But Chris Archer is a big name, which means big prospects. The better known name, the higher the asking price for a player. When the Pirates got Archer, Braves country as a whole was disappointed in Alex Anthopolous.
Kevin Gausman was the next name people were watching for the Braves to pick up at the deadline. Luckily, we landed him and he has been stellar. His first start was his most “iffy” performance, but he has been excellent since then. What makes someone go from a 4+ ERA pitcher to a sub 2 ERA pitcher?
Defense is definitely a part of it. The Orioles are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball this year. The Braves are one of the best. This clearly has a large impact on ERA. However, there is another change that we can credit to Chuck Hernandez, the Braves pitching coach.
Above is the vertical release point for Kevin Gausman’s pitches this year. You can see a very noticable change after his first game with Atlanta, in which he went just 5 innings and gave up 3 runs. Since then, he has had 4 starts (including today, not shown above). He has given up just 3 runs over his last 4 starts (27 IP), none in his last 2.
While that change is not a huge one, it is definitely a noticable one and has clearly had some effect on his pitching, as he has a 1.69 (1.nice) ERA since putting on a Braves uniform and a 1.00 ERA over his last 4 starts.
While the Braves did not give up a lot for Kevin Gausman, the Braves’ front office clearly saw value there and Gausman has added depth and consistency since joining the Braves. Definitely a net gain on the acquisition, and we can expect to see him in the Braves rotation for years to come.
Andrew Carter | @AndrewC_Braves