SEPT. 15: Gausman’s MRI came back clean and he could start this weekend, Baggarly tweets.
SEPT. 13: The Giants scratched Kevin Gausman from today’s scheduled start against the Padres with elbow tightness, per various reporters (including Andrew Baggarly of the Athletic). He’ll head for an MRI as a precaution, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link), but he’s not going on the injured list at this point. Gausman initially felt some discomfort playing catch a few days ago and woke up with some soreness this morning, relays Schulman.
Surely, the hope is that Gausman will avoid a serious problem and return in short order. The stakes are quite high for both player and team, though. At 23-22, San Francisco holds the seventh seed in the National League, with a two-game cushion on the Rockies for the final playoff spot. The Giants’ surprisingly solid performance is to some credit of Gausman, who has turned in 46.2 innings of 4.05 ERA/3.54 FIP ball this year. Quietly, the former Oriole has racked up strikeouts at a 32% clip, the eleventh-highest rate among qualified starters. Certainly, he has more than made good on the club’s buy-low $9MM investment this offseason. A healthy Gausman would be a part of the Giants’ playoff rotation if they hang on to a postseason spot.
It’s also highly important for Gausman personally to finish the season at full strength. He will return to the open market this winter in advance of his age-30 season. Between his strong platform year and youth, he’d be well-positioned in a market thin on high-end starting pitching.
Logan Webb will slide up in the rotation in Gausman’s place this evening. The 23-year-old has a 5.23 ERA/3.68 FIP in nine starts this year.