Blue Jays' Gausman endorses using a big glove, but avoiding the shift

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman delivers during the fourth inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians, Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Cleveland. (David Dermer/AP)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman has some advice about how to hide your pitches: use a big glove. The biggest one you can get.

Speaking with Ben Ennis and Stephen Brunt Friday on The FAN590, Gausman said tipping pitches is a problem any hurler who has a split-fingered fastball in his arsenal has to deal with.

"Just about any pitcher in the big leagues who throws a split, teams are trying to see if he does something different on his split," said Gausman, who is 5-6 with a 3.19 ERA this year. "A lot of guys who throw an actual true split, they’ve really gotta dig their fingers in there. And some guys you can see every time they do it. Whether you can seem them pushing their glove into their hand, or something."

Aside from watching video of himself to see if he's tipping, Gausman said the other solution is a big glove.

"I probably use one of the biggest gloves in baseball as a starting pitcher (to conceal my grip)," he said, laughing that the big mitt does not necessarily make fielding ground balls easy.

"I'm trying to just knock it down!" he laughed. "It can get ugly at times, but that's what I gotta do to conceal the splitty."

Speaking ahead of the Jays' Friday night game in Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. ET on Sportsnet ONE) Gausman also discussed how he feels about a shift defence being played behind him. And while he kept his answer diplomatic, it's clear he's not a fan.

"You usually only notice the negative things and you don’t notice the line drives that are right at somebody. You kind of forget those things," Gausman said. "You only notice and remember the times when a single turned into a double and they scored a run.

"Before my game in Chicago, I was like, ‘These guys are doing a really good job of beating the shift (in the first game of the series). I was kind of like, let’s just go play baseball, straight up, and see what happens.'

"The first play of the game Vladdy (Guerrero) made a diving play. I don’t know if he’s in there if I don’t say that before the game.

"There was also maybe a couple of times where I could have had an out, where I gave up a base hit. It’s just a tough situation. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s just dependent on if it’s working or it’s not."

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