How will the Orioles use Kevin Gausman in the playoffs?

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Kevin Gauzman has been fantastic for the Orioles, posting a 3.57 ERA with just five homers allowed in 18 starts as a 23-year-old rookie, including a 3.26 ERA and 78/35 K/BB ratio in 99 innings since his rough season debut.

And yet tonight against the Red Sox he might be pitching to determine his postseason role, as Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com indicates that the Orioles haven’t decided if Gausman will start or relieve in the playoffs.

Gausman has been exclusively a starter in the minors and majors this season, but he did make 15 appearances out of the Orioles’ bullpen last year while racking up 29 strikeouts in 23 innings as a reliever.

Gausman is probably at worst the Orioles’ third-best starter and there’s certainly an argument to be made that he’s their best starter, but Baltimore does have four other decent rotation options (basically everyone except for Ubaldo Jimenez) and they may think Gausman can make a huge late-inning impact if going for an inning or two at a time allows him to throw even harder than his average of 94.8 miles per hour as a starter.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.

After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.

Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.

Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.