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Orioles101 Mailbag: Starting Rotation the Focus, Manny Machado Suspension Questions Frequent

June 15th, 2014 at 6:30 AM
By Josh Michael

It's Sunday, and you know what that means, it's time for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag and this week we were flooded with Baltimore Orioles starting rotation questions and questions surrounding Manny Machado's suspension were frequent as well.

'Kevin Gausman Rookie Pitcher - Baltimore Orioles' photo (c) 2013, Austin Kirk - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As we always do, we want to remind you that if we receive multiple questions on the same topic, we answer them with one general answer as opposed to answering each one and repeating ourselves. 

With Kevin Gausman pitching well in both starts, will he stay in the starting rotation?

Easily the most frequent question we received and in a short period of time as well since he made his most recent start on Thursday Night where he tossed six innings of one-run ball. In fact, over his two starts since being recalled, Gausman has allowed just two runs over 13 innings. The way Gausman has pitched gives fans and the organization hope that he may be figuring out what he needs to do to be successful as a starting pitcher in the big leagues as we have seen him utilize all of his pitches in all counts and despite owning a fastball that clocks in in the upper 90's, he was simply trying to blow hitters away with it, he was, for a lack of a better word, pitching.

We believe that Gausman will stay in the rotation, and the real question is if Manager Buck Showalter will elect to go with a six-man rotation for a while in order to let someone pitch their way out of the rotation as opposed to taking a pitcher who has been performing well and moving him into the bullpen. Let's be clear, Miguel Gonzalez has pitched well and in no way deserves to be taken out of the rotation.

Who will get the call when Manny Machado begins serving his suspension?

The answer to this question depends on what the Orioles believe they need, meaning they could elect to use the open roster spot for an extra reliever or another infielder. Steve Lombardozzi continues to perform well in AAA and we would be a little surprised if he does not get a chance to get some playing time while Machado is serving his suspension. Even better, is that the Orioles have been getting Lombardozzi some time in left field down at Norfolk, so they could try and see how he handles it in the big leagues as well while Machado is out.

How does the process work for how the Orioles organization decides on which draft picks will go to Aberdeen or the GCL?

While the process is not cut and dry, the easy answer here is that normally, the team will have their college draft picks report to the Aberdeen Ironbirds, while the High School players go to the Gulf Coast League. We know that is a very short answer, but it seems to be the way it is a majority of the time.

As always, we thank everyone for their questions throughout the week, and we continue to urge you to send us questions every week as Orioles101 Mailbag is here to stay as a weekly edition.


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Tags: Aberdeen Ironbirds, Baltimore, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Buck Showalter, Kevin Gausman, Manny Machado, Miguel Gonzalez, MLB, Steve Lombardozzi

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