BALTIMORE - Freddy Garcia's time in Baltimore may be coming to an end.
The Orioles optioned the veteran right-handed pitcher to Class AAA Norfolk and promoted rookie Kevin Gausman to take his place on the roster, which means Garcia, because of his service time in the majors, can refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
Garcia, 36, didn't make it out of the third inning Sunday in Toronto and surrendered seven runs on seven hits in the Orioles' 13-5 loss to the Blue Jays. He's 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 53 innings with Baltimore this season.
"Freddy has a decision to make," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "He can stay with us and go to Triple A or do something else. Hoping he stays. He did some good things for us, and he had his challenges."
Meanwhile, Gausman is back after being sent down following his June 13 outing against Boston.
He's 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA in five starts, but Showalter had the 22-year-old in the bullpen for Monday's series opener against Cleveland in case a long reliever was needed. Gausman, who pitched in relief during spring training, made one start with the Tides and allowed seven runs in six innings.
"I could definitely tell the difference between Double-A and Triple-A," Gausman said. "Those guys are pretty good. They hit mistakes like guys up here."
Gausman was Baltimore's top pick, and the fourth overall, in last year's draft.
It's possible Gausman could start Friday in place of Garcia, but Showalter wouldn't commit to anybody yet.
"He was a guy that fit our needs," Showalter said. "I would have loved to have left him [at Norfolk], but we had a need and other options weren't available."
HOWDY, SHERIFF: Former Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds was back in town for the first time since he left Baltimore for free agency and signed with Cleveland in the offseason. Reynolds had 60 home runs and 155 RBIs in two seasons with the Orioles, and played third base and first base last year.
Reynolds, who received a smattering of applause upon his first at-bat, said before the game he enjoyed his time in Baltimore but is happy to be winning in Cleveland.
He came into Monday's game batting .231 with 14 homers and 44 RBIs for the Indians.
"It's good to be back. I missed playing here," Reynolds said before Monday's game. "I miss the guys. I miss the city. Where I'm at now is a good situation, a good team, a good manager."
Reynolds may be known for his strikeout prowess, but he earned many a fan for his home-run ability and stellar defensive play that helped the Orioles make the postseason in 2012.
Reynolds said he tries to keep in touch with some of his ex-teammates, while some of Cleveland's players joked about him being on the wrong side of the field sitting in the Indians' dugout.
"They're lucky to have him," Showalter said. "We'd have liked, in a perfect world, to have him back. It worked out well for him. It's one of those things, it's kind of frustrating but you understand how a lot of things work.
"Mark's in a good place, with a good organization, a good manager, good teammates. I liked Mark. Good teammate, an easy guy to manage. We'd have liked to have him, it just didn't work out."
INJURY UPDATES: Showalter said Brian Roberts (hamstring) is scheduled to leave town Tuesday and begin his rehab assignment in Norfolk, while left fielder Nolan Reimold (hamstring) will remain with Class AA Bowie and continue his rehab stint with the Baysox.
Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) threw four innings during a simulated game and Showalter said reports were good for the injured right-hander. Chen is expected to join the team Tuesday and get ready for a rehab start of five innings.
Dylan Bundy (forearm) isn't ready to throw off a mound yet, Showalter said, but the youngster is going through his long-toss routine with no ill effects.