Buck Showalter talks about Kevin Gausman, starting rotation and more

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn't naming his rotation for the upcoming series on the road against the Kansas City Royals until he gets a better feel for a whole lot of variables.

This much was gleaned during Showalter's pregame media session Tuesday.


Right-hander Kevin Gausman, 23, will make his 2014 Orioles debut Wednesday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers at Camden Yards. Gausman, who came off the minor league disabled list Saturday to pitch for Triple-A Norfolk, is considered 100 percent and doesn't have a strict pitch count, although the Orioles will monitor how stressful his innings are.

"He's ready to go tomorrow. I don't know if it'll be a pure number pitch count as opposed to how the Tigers are doing against him more than [anything]," Showalter said. "Obviously, there's a number there that I'll have in mind."


Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who was scheduled to pitch Wednesday, will now throw Thursday at Kansas City. Chen pitches better on five days' rest, and he'll be facing a Royals team that struggles against lefties instead of a Tigers team that pummels them.

"I wanted to give Chen an extra day and see some other evaluations," Showalter said. "I'm sure you guys can figure out where Detroit and Kansas City come into play."

Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who was supposed to pitch Thursday, now has his next start up in the air. He will be available as the "piggyback" if Gausman can't go deep into the game Wednesday.

Showalter said Gonzalez also might be needed to start Friday if Chris Tillman can't pitch because of groin tenderness, or Gonzalez could start Saturday if Bud Norris is suspended after his ejection Monday night for hitting Detroit's Torii Hunter with a pitch.

Showalter said he expects Tillman to have no problems after his side session, and he also doesn't expect Norris to be suspended.

The sense within the clubhouse is that Norris could get hit with a fine at the most, but Showalter wants Gonzalez as an option for those two games, if necessary (and if Gonzalez is not needed Wednesday). Showalter said he still considers Gonzalez to be a member of the rotation, but it made the most sense to rearrange his schedule.

"It works out better for everybody to go this direction," Showalter said.

He wouldn't elaborate on whether Gausman will get multiple starts or if the pitching prospect could be sent down after Wednesday's start.


"I'm going to wait to see how everything goes. I'm not going to commit one way or the other. It's just kind of where we are, and we felt like the adjustment was something we needed to make," he said. "We had the flexibility to do it, and we'll see how it shakes out."

Here are some other notes to come out of Showalter's meeting:

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-- Right-hander Dylan Bundy (elbow surgery last June) threw his first live batting practice session -- basically a simulated game with a batter in the box -- Tuesday in Sarasota, Fla. He threw 20 pitches and hit 93 mph on the radar gun.

"Everything went real well. Threw all his pitches. That was real encouraging," Showalter said. "Velocity was a little firmer than I thought it would be."

-- Outfielder Henry Urrutia had successful sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia on Tuesday. He is expected to be out of minor league action for six to eight weeks.

-- Outfielder Nolan Reimold (neck) is participating in all baseball activities now, but he has yet to play in a game. He is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list May 29.


-- Left-hander Johan Santana (left shoulder) will throw in an extended spring training game Friday.

-- Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (left knee sprain) will throw four innings in Sarasota on Wednesday.

-- Right-hander Edgmer Escalona (right shoulder) also threw in live batting practice session Tuesday and was fine, Showalter said.