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The problem with labeling Kevin Gausman 'must-add'

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Kevin Gausman is coming back to the big leagues. (USATSI)
Kevin Gausman is coming back to the big leagues. (USATSI)

Kevin Gausman is an excellent pitching prospect. This no one can deny. So by calling him up to start Wednesday against the Tigers, the Orioles have rightfully sent the Fantasy-playing world into a frenzy. But while there's nothing wrong with stashing him for the long haul, I wouldn't go as far as to call him a must-add.

On other occasions when we've labeled a newcomer to the starting rotation as such -- most recently, Drew Pomeranz -- we've been presented with the kind of hypotheticals in phone calls, tweets and emails that reveal we don't know shallower leagues as well as we think we do. Should I drop Pomeranz for ... Homer Bailey? Should I drop him for ... C.J. Wilson? Well, no. Our rest-of-season rankings should give you some idea which pitchers are appropriate to drop for him, and if your league is honestly so shallow that you don't have one, he's apparently not must-own for you.

The point here isn't to nitpick terminology, but to help you gauge Gausman's value. If Pomeranz isn't a must-add, Gausman can't be because Pomeranz is the more deserving pickup. Gausman has known only failure at the big-league level so far and was inefficient at Triple-A Norfolk prior to this promotion, compiling an uncharacteristically high walk rate and struggling to get through five innings on a 75-pitch limit. The Orioles might ease up on those restrictions a bit now that he's in the big leagues, but the control and workload concerns could potentially hold him back.

Gausman may figure it out before season's end, but he'll be learning on the job, making him not the most advisable stash if you don't feel like you can plant him on your bench for a while.

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