When the Toronto Blue Jays gave pitcher Kevin Gausman a five-year, $110 million contract in the offseason, lots of analysts and fans were worried about him returning to the toughest division in MLB, the AL East.
With his stellar performances in the early going, however, he has taken care of virtually every concern about the quality of opposition he is facing.
Either he is reaching a new level of dominance, or the AL East is not as tough as we all thought.
It could be a little bit of both, but Gausman is currently sporting a 2.19 ERA and an incredible 0.56 FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, a metric that takes defense out of the equation to determine just how dominant a pitcher has been.
In four starts and 24.2 innings, Gausman has struck 31 hitters and still hasn’t walked his first batter.
According to ESPN Stats and Info (quoted by The Score via Twitter), Gausman’s 31 punchouts are the most in history for a starting pitcher beginning a stint with a team since 1900.
Kevin Gausman has been DEALING to start the season. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yABUpLf6DI
— theScore (@theScore) April 27, 2022
A Truly Dominant Workhorse
More than ERA and other similar metrics, the strikeout-to-walk ratio is perhaps the best and most effective way to assess a pitcher’s dominance.
It’s clear that Gausman is acing just about every possible test.
Yes, he still hasn’t faced every team in the AL East and he plays for the best offensive team of the bunch, but even when Gausman walks his first batter, he will likely remain an elite starter.
He has shown he has the stuff, the command, the control, and the drive to succeed.
Toronto found itself a great one, and with him leading the rotation, they can finally dream about topping the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Boston Red Sox this year.