WASHINGTON -- The decision to send right-hander Kevin Gausman back to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday was as much to limit his innings as it was to bring up another reliever, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before tonight's game against the Washington Nationals.
Gausman is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA with the Orioles this year, but because the club wants to use him throughout a potential postseason run, they are limiting him now.
"We didn't want to have it jump up on us in the middle of September and not be able to use him," Showalter said. "We wanted to make sure Kevin got in a position where we could use him as we saw fit for the rest of the year."
The right-hander has tossed 78 2/3 innings this year, after pitching 127 2/3 last year. He last started for the Orioles on Sunday, throwing 104 pitches in 5 1/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox.
Showalter said Gausman will likely rejoin the team after the All-Star break. He is eligible to return when the Orioles resume play July 18 on the road against the Oakland Athletics.
The Orioles called up right-hander Julio DePaula from Double-A Bowie before Monday's game.
Here are more pregame updates:
** Showalter said right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez likely will swap their starts, meaning that Gonzalez will start Thursday and Jimenez on Friday. The change would allow the Orioles to move Gonzalez, who has minor league options, allowing them to call up an extra reliever before the All-Star break. The club could then bring Gonzalez back after the break.
** Steve Pearce isn't starting today to rest his hamstring, Showalter said. Nelson Cruz is starting in left field and Chris Davis is at first base, though the manager said Pearce is still available to play either position off the bench.
** Right-hander Dylan Bundy, the Orioles' top pitching prospect, will start Thursday for High-A Frederick.
** Right-hander Steve Johnson is on a rehab assignment with short-season Aberdeen. He is recovering from a shoulder injury.