Kevin Gausman is off to a rough start, but there's plenty of time to right the ship

The 33-year-old has an unflattering ERA, however there's still time to rediscover his 2023 form.
Colorado Rockies v Toronto Blue Jays
Colorado Rockies v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

Kevin Gausman's poor start to the 2024 season continued last Friday against the Colorado Rockies in his season debut at the Rogers Centre. The Colorado native gave up 6 earned runs in 3.2 innings and as a result was charged with his second straight loss.

Alarmingly, in three outings this season, Gausman has given up 12 earned runs on 16 hits with a pair of walks and 10 strikeouts in just 9.1 innings pitched. With José Berríos starting his season in outstanding fashion and 3 wins to his name already, Gausman is at risk of losing his status as the ace of Toronto's pitching staff.

Gausman's start to the season has left the fanbase concerned, with many wondering whether he is still hindered by the shoulder injury which he sustained during spring training, and that could end up being the case. Gausman's velocity on all three of his pitches is down compared to what it was last year. His fastball is currently averaging 93 mph compared to 94.7 in 2023, slider averaging 83.4 mph compared to 84 in 2023 and his splitter, which is one of the nastiest pitches in baseball, is averaging 85 mph compared to 86.3 in 2023.

Despite the slow start, time is on Kevin Gausman's side

It's clear that the 2023 Cy Young Finalist and the AL leader in strikeouts has struggled, but the good news is we have 6 months left of the 2024 season, so time is on his side. Gausman will make his fourth start of the season at the Rogers Center on Wednesday afternoon, against former Blue Jay Marcus Stroman and the New York Yankees. Apart from that abysmal start in the Bronx two weeks ago when he struggled to make it out of the second inning, Gausman has a respectable career ERA of 3.27 against the Bronx Bombers.

For Wednesday's outing, the Blue Jays might decide to reunite Kevin Gausman with Danny Jansen behind the plate. According to Baseball Reference, Jansen, who is set to return from the IL any moment now, caught 12 of Gausman's outings last season and his ERA was lower with Jansen (3.12) than Alejandro Kirk (3.18) with fewer home runs given up (Jansen, 7; Kirk, 12). Maybe pairing Gausman with Jansen will help him going forward but he'll need to increase the velocity on his pitches, improve his command and decrease his hard-hit rate. Thankfully, there's plenty of time left for him to do just that.