The Orioles have sent right-hander Kevin Gausman back to Triple-A Norfolk to again fortify their bullpen, adding reliever Julio DePaula from Double-A Bowie.
Gausman, who allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston, will make one start for the Norfolk Tides – either Friday, Saturday or Sunday – and then will likely come back to the Orioles shortly after the All-Star Break.
The 23-year-old right-hander who has yo-yoed back and forth from the minors, partially to help keep the bullpen fresh, said he again understands why he is being sent down. Because the Orioles would have six starters with Bud Norris coming off the disabled list Tuesday to start versus the Nationals and are depleted some in the bullpen, Gausman, who is the most recent member of the rotation to start, became the odd man out.
“We went 12 innings yesterday and everybody threw pretty much. It’s just one of those things we needed an arm in case something happens. You always got to go on the side of caution and be prepared for everything,” said Gausman, who is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA in six starts this season.
More Gausman: “I want to stay up here. But it is one of those things I understand and I know the process and we are trying to keep everybody healthy. That’s what it comes down to. You don’t want to throw a guy in harm’s way just to keep someone here who is not going to pitch for a good amount of days. It’s good to keep those guys fresh out there, especially our (bullpen) guys. They are really good and have been a really big part of what we have done this year. Keeping them healthy and ready and fresh is the biggest priority.”
Gausman is accustomed to the minor league shuttle. He was first called up for a spot start on May 14 and was sent back to Norfolk the next day. He came up again on June 7 and stayed until June 20 when he was sent down and then called up as the 26th man during a doubleheader June 27. He was back Sunday and is now gone again for a week or so.
“I’m going to Norfolk. Probably get one start could be Friday, could be Saturday or Sunday, not sure yet,” he said. “It all depends on when I get there and when I throw my side or if I throw multiple sides.”
DePaula, who was signed last week out of the Atlantic League’s York Revolution club, could be up for only one day. Norris needs to be activated Tuesday.