Just last week, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said pitching prospect Kevin Gausman was a starting rotation option for the future, but not the immediate present.
But the 22-year-old right-hander will join the Orioles this week and is expected to make his major league debut Thursday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, according to multiple industry sources.
The Orioles' first-round draft pick last June – the fourth-overall selection out of LSU – will make the jump from Double-A Bowie, where he is 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts.
Gausman has recorded quality starts in five of his eight outings and is coming off a six-inning, four-hit, one-run effort in his last outing on Friday. Gausman was scheduled to pitch for Bowie on Wednesday night in Akron, but the Baysox announced late Tuesday night that he had been scratched from the start.
Before Tuesday's Orioles game, manager Buck Showalter indicated that the leading candidates for Thursday's starter were relief arms T.J. McFarland and Jake Arrieta.
Instead, Gausman will be the Orioles' 11th different starting pitcher this season.
This time last year, Gausman was still pitching as a sophomore in college. Now, he will be making his major league debut after logging just 64 1/3 innings in the minors. He began his pro career last season at short-season Aberdeen and ended the year pitching three shutout innings in the Eastern League playoffs.
He will be the first member of the 2012 draft class to advance to the major leagues.
This year, he's shown remarkable fastball command at Bowie, striking out 49 and walking just five batters over 46 1/3 innings.
Equipped with a plus changeup that complements a mid-90s fastball, Gausman was sent to Bowie to develop his slider as a third out pitch. He made huge strides with the pitch in instructionals.
Gausman is ranked the 26th best prospect in the game by Baseball America and 37th overall by MLB.com.
The news of Gausman's promotion was first reported by FOXSports.com