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Orioles notebook: Gausman set for first start

BALTIMORE - Kevin Gausman walked into the clubhouse around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, and his Baltimore Orioles career officially began.

The organization's top draft pick from a year ago earned a promotion from Class AA Bowie, and all signs point to him making his major-league debut as the Orioles' starting pitcher Thursday night in Toronto.

Gausman dropped some luggage at the foot of a blank locker, which quickly became adorned with his name and jersey No. 37. He spent some time in manager Buck Showalter's office before returning to the clubhouse and exchanging hugs and high-fives from his new teammates.

The sentiments seemed sincere - Welcome to The Show, kid.

"I don't really think it hit me until today, until my second flight here from Atlanta," Gausman said before a throng of media members. "Then I just kind of was thinking, you know, 'Wow, I'm really here.' It's crazy."

Showalter wouldn't confirm his plans for the first starter against the Blue Jays, but he said Gausman will be activated before Thursday.

"We're trying to win," Showalter said. "And we think he can help us. We've got options, and 'Gaus' is one of them. It's always been a thought that it looked like it was going to be 'when' and not 'if.' He spent a lot of time down there doing some things he needed to do, and talking to ... our pitching people, everybody felt like he was our best option right now to bring up here."

Gausman, 22, was 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts with the Baysox, but the statistics that stagger are 49 strikeouts against five walks in 46 1-3 innings. He struck out 10 in six innings May 17 against Trenton and got the victory, his first since April 11.

But for now, Bowie is behind him.

"The biggest thing was they told me to kind of get used to a five-man rotation, get used to pro ball," Gausman said. "I hadn't been used to throwing every fifth day and the travel that you do in pro ball, it's a lot different than college."

The team's No. 2-rated prospect (and 26th overall, according to Baseball America) is about to make his debut, and with an inconsistent starting rotation the timing could be perfect for the rookie to showcase his talents.

"We'll see how it works out," Showalter said. "Our curiosity will be satisfied."

Added executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette: "The future is now."

ON THE MEND: Showalter said left fielder Nolan Reimold is unlikely to be back when his 15 days on the disabled list are up. Reimold is dealing with an injured right hamstring and was placed on the DL Saturday.

Reimold is staying in Baltimore for physical therapy, Showalter said, and will miss the upcoming road trip.

Showalter started Adam Jones as the designated hitter Wednesday for the second straight game, in part to let Jones rest his sore groin. Showalter said Jones could have played center field in the series finale with the Yankees, but with a four-game set coming up in Toronto, on artificial turf, the manager said he's playing it safe.

MINOR MEND: The Orioles confirmed minor-league infielder Jonathan Schoop will miss significant time after suffering a back injury. The 21-year-old from Curacao who earned Orioles Minor League Player of the Year in 2011, was hitting .268 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 34 games with Class AAA Norfolk before going down. Schoop, a non-drafted free agent in 2008, represented the Netherlands in the 2013 World Baseball Classic during spring training.

"It sounds like he has a stress fracture of his low back," Duquette said. "He will need a period of rest, probably six to eight weeks of rest."

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