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Kevin Gausman sticking in the Orioles' bullpen for now

Kevin Gausman, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning in the Orioles’ loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night, has thrown 5 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen and figures to stay there for now.

Gausman, the organization’s No. 2 prospect, struggled in five big league starts, pitching to a 7.66 ERA.

The Orioles will need to make a roster move when Wei-Yin Chen returns to the starting rotation next week, but for now it appears Gausman will continue to log major league experience as a reliever.

“I think he benefits either way, whether it’s him continuing to get starts down there or him contributing out of the bullpen up here,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I have an idea of how it’s all going to shake out after the [All-Star] break, but I’m going to leave an open mind to it until we get all the information between now and the break.”

Once Chen returns, either Gausman or left-hander Zach Britton — who will start Thursday in Chicago — could be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

“We’d like to have both of them on the club,” Showalter said. “I think those things kind of solve themselves. It’s going to be about the need of the club, and the need of the club may be for [Gausman] to be starting in Norfolk. We will see.”

Orioles venture back into South Korea

The Orioles have signed South Korean left-hander Jung-Hyun Yoon, the organization’s first signing from that country since last year’s failed signing of 17-year-old high school pitcher Seong-Min Kim.

The 21-year-old Yoon most recently pitched collegiately at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. He is a project, but the Orioles like his smooth delivery and the fact that he possesses a solid curveball that can still develop. The signing bonus Yoon received was nominal and is believed to be in the $30,000 range.

Yoon would report to Sarasota, Fla., to begin working out and then be re-evaluated before being assigned within the Orioles’ minor league system.

Before the 2012 season, the Orioles signed Kim — regarded as the top left-handed high school prospect in South Korea — but the signing sparked outrage among the Korean Baseball Organization league and Korean Baseball Association governing body because the Orioles didn’t conduct a mandatory status check of Kim’s signing rights with the KBO.

The Orioles later apologized for an “unintentional breach of protocol,” but at one point, the KBA banned Orioles scouts from all high school and college games. Since then, the Orioles hadn’t been active in signing players out of South Korean until Yoon.

Around the horn

Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop, on the DL with a stress fracture in his lower back, is scheduled to begin playing in games July 11 in either the Gulf Coast League or in short-season Class-A Aberdeen. He’s scheduled to return to Triple-A Norfolk on July 17. … Right-hander Jon Rauch, who had signed a minor league deal and was pitching at Norfolk, was released Wednesday after using an opt-out clause in his contract. … Norfolk right-hander Jairo Asencio and outfielder Jason Pridie were named to the International League All-Star Tteam. They will play in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 17 in Reno, Nev. ... The start time for the Orioles’ Sept. 7 home game against the White Sox was changed from 1:05 p.m. to 7:05. It was selected as a Fox broadcast. … The Orioles entered Wednesday’s game leading the majors in fielding percentage at .992. According to STATS, the Orioles are on pace to have the highest fielding percentage in franchise history, topping their .987 mark in 2007. … Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter turned 27 Wednesday. … Feldman became the 14th player to make his Orioles debut this season. … Chicago Blackhawks players Patrick Sharp and Brandon Bollig threw out the ceremonial first pitches Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field and brought along the recently won Stanley Cup. Orioles reliever and suburban Chicago native T.J. McFarland posed with the players and the Cup.

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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