Right-hander Kevin Gausman took his first bullpen session since suffering a tweak in the intercostal area of his ribcage during his start Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox, and came through it well enough that he'll be the team's starter for the series opener in Toronto next week, provided he feels good Sunday.
"Gaus' work day went well today, so we're thinking about him pitching on Tuesday," Showalter said. "We'll see how Chris [Tillman's] work day goes tomorrow — I think it's tomorrow. We'll pencil him in there. We'll see how Kevin and him feel the day after, too. So that was a good work day."
Gausman said the injury, which Showalter said was the beginnings of an intercostal problem that they caught early, was "more of kind of a cramp maybe, just a little bit of a tweak."
"But I feel fine a couple days later," Gausman said. "I just came in a little bit sore, got some treatment on it. After a couple days of treatment, I was ready to go. I think it was just tightness."
Showalter had previously said he expected Tillman and Gausman to line up in some order Tuesday and Wednesday, but Tillman will likely now slide in behind Gausman. This is significant in the sense that it lines Gausman up for the final game of the season on Oct. 2 in New York.
Otherwise, the rotation is uncertain for Thursday's series finale in Toronto. Ubaldo Jimenez will be on at least seven days' rest by the time a spot in the rotation is available to him. Yovani Gallardo, who allowed two runs on six hits in six innings Friday, and Wade Miley, who started Saturday and may not leave the team for the birth of his first child as originally planned, will also be options.
"We've got three or four names [in play]," Showalter said. "We'll see. Talking to Wade yesterday, he may not go home. … [His wife] is not due until [Oct. 7], and if she has a good day in the next couple of days, he may go with us to Toronto. Obviously, he can go whenever he sees fit, but he doesn't want to start that three days until he knows that they're going to have the baby. So that's not a given he'll leave tomorrow."
Coaching staff's future not discussed
Showatler said that he and executive vice president Dan Duquette have not talked about the future of the team's coaching staff beyond this year.
"I'm very happy with our coaching staff," Showalter said. "I think it's one of our real assets here, and the continuity of it."
Pitching coach Dave Wallace has missed a series every month to return home to his family for a personal matter, but Showalter said his future with the team won't be discussed until after the season.
"What we have talked about is that we'll talk about it at the end of the year," Showalter said. "His whole focus is here, every day."
Sisters Tatyana and Hannah McFadden, both of Clarksville, threw out ceremonial first pitches ahead of Saturday's game. Tatyana, one of the most decorated wheelchair racers of all time, won four gold medals and two silver medals at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. Her sister, Hannah, finished fourth in the 100-meter and seventh in the 400-meter track events.
"It's so wonderful to come back and to have this experience, to be here at a game," Tatyana said. It's celebration time. We've put in all the hard work, and to be acknowledged for it is something we're really, really happy about."
Said Hannah: "Things just continue on for the happiness. At least for me, those four years, I had been training for 16 seconds. That 16 seconds is over now. … So these celebrations just celebrate your hard work, and just get you more excited to continue it."
Around the horn
Showalter still isn't pleased with the explanation given on the ninth-inning play at the plate that saw shortstop J.J. Hardy thrown out Friday. He said the team contested that catcher Welington Castillo tagged Hardy with his glove while the ball was in his other hand, but were told it couldn't be confirmed that Hardy touched the plate.