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Gausman brilliant in delayed Spring Training debut


Kevin Gausman made his Spring Training debut for the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, throwing 52 pitches before being pulled early in the fourth inning.

Gausman struck out seven through three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits - one an infield single - but was pulled after surrendering a single to Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes to lead off the fourth. 

Along with a fastball that touched 97 miles per hour, Gausman showed off his signature splitter, and used a slider and changeup often in an outing that showed all of his pitches in his repertoire were available. 

The 33-year-old was slow to ramp up activity in camp after he was pulled from an early bullpen session, reportedly dealing with shoulder fatigue. 

Gausman finished third in American League Cy Young voting last season, his second with the Blue Jays. He pitched 185.0 innings with a 3.16 earned run average and a league-leading 237 strikeouts. 

The team announced on March 19 that Jose Berrios would handle opening day duties against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, but the team has not ruled out Gausman getting a turn in the opening rotation. 

That Gausman was able to complete a full outing in Spring Training is a sigh of relief for the Blue Jays. Manager John Schneider indicated before their Spring Training finale against the Pirates that two key bullpen arms, setup man Erik Swanson and closer Jordan Romano, would likely be placed on the Injured List to open the season