Blue Jays Kevin Gausman and Sportsnet analyst Caleb Joseph have an unusual bond
Photo credit:© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
After signing a five-year deal with the Blue Jays during the 2021/2022 offseason, Kevin Gausman has been one of the club’s top arms in the rotation. Prior to today’s contest against the Colorado Rockies, the right-hander has pitched to a 3.33 ERA through 57 starts, owning an 11.1 K/9 through that time. This season alone, the former Oriole leads the American League in strikeouts (202) and owns a minuscule 2.83 FIP with a 1.178 WHIP, keeping him in the AL Cy Young conversation as the month turns over into September.
Looking back on his history, Gausman spent six seasons with Baltimore before bouncing around to a few other teams, trying to regain his footing at the big league level. A trip to the Bay Area was just what the doctor ordered, as the Colorado product pitched to a 3.00 ERA through 45 appearances from 2020 to 2021, which eventually led to the Jays’ front office handing out $110 million to the splitter-throwing specialist.
Through two seasons with the Jays, Gausman has pitched pretty much evenly to backstops Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk at 140.0 and 132 2/3 innings respectively. With Jansen on the IL due to a broken finger, there is a chance that Kirk could surpass Jansen on the charts to become the third catcher on Gausman’s ranking list (innings pitched) but it won’t today, as backup Tyler Heineman gets the start today behind the plate.
Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman and former catcher Caleb Joseph have an unusual bond
Funny enough, a member of the Sportsnet broadcast team has an even tighter bond with Gausman, as former catcher turned analyst Caleb Joseph currently leads all catchers when it comes to working behind the plate with the Blue Jays ace.
Joseph, who was drafted by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 2008 MLB Draft, has caught Gausman through 61 games and 322 1/3 innings and leads all 26 catchers who have suited up behind home plate for the 6 foot 2 pitcher. With Joseph catching Gausman, the two have formed a tandem that has produced a 3.29 ERA with 299 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .695 OPS through 1216 at-bats. Opposing hitters own a .247/.307/.387 with these two working together and some of Gausman’s best outings early in his career came when the Liscomb product was catching him.
The partnership lasted parts of five seasons from 2014, when Joseph broke into the big leagues, to the 2018 trade deadline when Gausman was dealt to the Atlanta Braves alongside reliever Darren O’Day for a package of prospects. While Gausman is now a member of the Jays rotation, Joseph split his time between Triple-A and the Major Leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, and the New York Mets, as the backstop left the Orioles via free agency after the 2018 season when he was non-tendered. While he has never officially retired, he last suited up for the Blue Jays during the 2020 season and now works as an analyst for Sportsnet and can be seen on Jays broadcasts throughout the season providing insight and stories during his time in the big leagues.
With three years remaining on his contract with the Jays, there is a chance that Gausman could surpass his and Joseph’s mark of 322 1/3 innings with either Jansen or Kirk, although both players would also have to overtake Matt Weiters, who has caught 229 1/3 innings as well.
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