Orioles notes: Kevin Gausman aims for second week of season; Dariel Alvarez optioned to Triple-A

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Kevin Gausman will throw a bullpen Friday, and hopes that 3 weeks from then, he'll be back with the Orioles.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman said he saw his pending trip to the disabled list to begin the season coming when he had a cortisone injection in his shoulder earlier this month, and hopes to be back about two weeks into the season.

“Everything feels great,” said Gausman, who had a cortisone shot on March 20 to relieve right shoulder tendinitis that had bothered him throughout the spring. “I played catch twice now, so take a day today and then tomorrow I’ll throw to 120 [feet] and probably take another day off and then a bullpen, so the plan is to throw a bullpen on [April] 1st.”

Manager Buck Showalter has been targeting the first time the team needs a fifth starter — April 10 — as the date Gausman could come off the DL. But Gausman said he anticipates being ready between two and two-and-a-half weeks into the season. That would place his return in the April 18-21 range.

If it were up to Gausman, he’d not miss any time at all.

“It sucks to go back to square one and have to get work to stretch back out, but [I] don’t want to try to rush it and end up hurting myself again,” he said.

“I feel great right now. I feel like everything’s good, but if I get off the mound the first time and start to feel it again, then obviously we’ll kind of re-evaluate when we get there. But to say that anything is kind of out of the realm of possibility, I think, is unfair. I’d love to pitch the 10th, I’d love to pitch the Fourth, too, but that’s not going to happen. So, hopefully I’m ready sometime around there.”

Gausman will remain in Sarasota to rehab, he said. He is looking to improve on a 2015 season when he pitched 112 1/3 major league innings, going 4-7 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.

Dariel Alvarez optioned to Triple-A

The Orioles’ slow crawl to determining their initial 25-man roster continued Tuesday, when the team announced that Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to bring the number of players in major league camp to 30.

Alvarez, 27, was added to the 40-man roster last season at the end of another strong minor league season in Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .275 with a .729 OPS and 16 home runs last year for the Tides, a season after hitting a combined .306/.330/.472 with 15 home runs between Double-A Bowie and Norfolk.

This spring, Alvarez hit .182/.234/.250 with two extra-base hits in 24 games. He joins a crowded outfield situation that will include Christian Walker playing left field regularly, and must still find time for fellow Cuban Henry Urrutia, plus Julio Borbon, Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes.

Avery and Hoes are still in major league camp.

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