Considering how well his starting rotation mates had been pitching going into the postseason, Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman expected to be sent to the bullpen for the American League Division Series.
He received word before the Orioles' ALDS workout at Camden Yards on Wednesday that he would indeed work in relief. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has said he would use four starters in the best-of-five series.
"I'm excited about it and I kind of knew this was coming," said Gausman, who was 7-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 20 starts with the Orioles, "so I kind have been trying get into the routine like I had last year coming out of the 'pen. I think it will be fun. It's something a little different, but I learned how to do it last year so I think that will definitely help."
Gausman credits working out the bullpen last season – he was 3-2 with a 3.52 ERA as a reliever in 2013 after stumbling as a starter – with helping him get accustomed to the big leagues and building his confidence in the majors. Even though all 32 of his appearances – including 12 in the minors -- this year were as a starter, Gausman said it won't be difficult getting readjusted to a relief role.
"I think my stuff is better now than it was last year coming out of the 'pen," Gausman said. "I think I'll be even better this year. I feel good physically and mechanically I feel great, so I'm just going to be prepared for whatever, whether it's one batter, one pitch, multiple innings or whatever. I'm just excited to be on the roster and have the opportunity to help us win."
Still, Gausman is preparing for the possibility he gets a start later in the postseason, so he won't get too far away from his starting routine.
"Obviously, I can't work out as hard as I would as if I was starting," Gausman said. "But I worked out yesterday and I threw a side [session] yesterday and I did everything I'd do if I was a starter. I might get a start later in the postseason, so that's kind of still in the back of my mind also.
"So, whether I do that or I'm back in the 'pen, the whole time it's more about getting ready to be out there and getting my arm ready to pitch on short notice. I think that's the biggest task."