Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman is back for his second ride in Baltimore, and at least initially, it will be in the bullpen.
Gausman was promoted from Triple-A on Monday while veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia was optioned to Norfolk.
Gausman, who was 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA in five starts with the Orioles, was sent down to Norfolk on June 13 because the team needed bullpen help after a 13-inning game against the Boston Red Sox in which Gausman allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Now he’s back and is in the bullpen, for now. He got the call last night and just arrived in Baltimore this afternoon.
“They didn’t really tell me anything,” Gausman said. “They told me probably out of the 'pen, relieving and stuff just because yesterday kind of taxed the bullpen a little bit, kind of just like the day I left. We had a long game and used a lot of guys, so it kind of makes sense.”
Gausman, the club’s first rounder in 2012, has not pitched out of the bullpen in a regular game as a pro or even when he was at LSU. The last time he entered in relief in a game that counted was when he was a high schooler, and he would leave right field to pitch.
“Little different at this level than Colorado high school baseball,” he joked.
Gausman did, however, pitch in relief this spring training. And he said that should help him with this experience.
“It will be a little different, but at the same time that is what I did in spring training, pretty much,” he said. “So that’s something that will be good for me to kind of know [how to do it]. I kind of got into a routine in spring training, how many pitches it took for me to get ready. Obviously, you don’t have too much time, but you try to get ready as fast as you can. That’s something at spring training I tried to learn.”
When Gausman was sent down earlier this month, he went to Triple-A, where he had never pitched before. He started just one game – allowing seven earned runs in six innings pitched. But he said he was working on certain things with his delivery. He also experimented with moving to the third base side of the mound. That’s something he likely won’t do right now in the majors.
It’s possible that if Gausman isn’t needed in relief, he could be in line to pitch Friday’s game against the New York Yankees, which is Garcia’s turn.