Gausman feels ready after rehab start

Orioles righty eager to join rotation following shoulder tendinitis

April 16th, 2016
Kevin Gausman pitched only six innings in Spring Training. (AP)

ARLINGTON -- Back in the Orioles' clubhouse Saturday after throwing a rehab start for Class A Advanced Frederick the night before, right-hander Kevin Gausman said he's "ready to get going up here."

Now the club has to decide whether he'll get one more rehab start as he recovers from shoulder tendinitis, or go back into the Orioles' rotation.

Gausman faced 17 Lynchburg batters Friday, throwing 74 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out eight, walked two and allowed two earned runs on four hits.

"I felt good last night -- I wish I would have been a lot more effective with pitch count, but I just felt like they weren't swinging and all of a sudden they were swinging at everything," Gausman said. "I thought my best pitch last night was my splitter and that's something that I didn't really start throwing until late spring. That's good going forward, it's been my put-away pitch the last couple of years. Fastball command certainly needs to get a little bit better, but I definitely feel like I'm ready and healthy.

"I don't think there would be anything wrong with getting another [rehab start], but at the same time, I want to pitch for the Orioles," Gausman said. "I want to be up here, I don't want to miss any more starts, that's the biggest thing."

Gausman pitched only six innings in Spring Training and opened the season on the disabled list. Manager Buck Showalter said his return appears to be imminent, but wouldn't say whether his next start will be in an Orioles uniform.

"We've got a plan for what's going to happen next, but we're going to wait and see how the work day goes tomorrow," Showalter said before Saturday's game against the Rangers. "I've got a pretty good gut [feeling] after sitting down with [pitching coach Dave Wallace] about what we're going to do."

Gausman was 4-7 with a 4.25 ERA in 25 games, including 17 starts, for Baltimore last season.

Worth noting

• Left-handed specialist Brian Matusz also made a rehab appearance in Frederick on Friday night, entering the game an inning after Gausman. Matusz, on the DL with a strained rib muscle, pitched three innings and allowed one earned run on two hits, striking out three.

"He'll pitch again for Frederick," Showalter said, adding that Matusz could return to the Orioles for their road series against the Royals beginning April 22. "He's got a shot at Kansas City if he presents himself well in the next outing. He was better last night."

• Mark Trumbo is the first player in Orioles history to hit five home runs in his first 10 games with the club. Nine players hit four homers in their first 10 games with Baltimore, most recently Todd Zeile, Rafael Palmeiro and Mike Pagliarulo.

• Entering Saturday, the Orioles' bullpen had the second-lowest ERA in the majors at 1.42 (six earned runs in 38 innings). Baltimore relievers had held opponents to a .199 batting average.

• A night after hitting two homers, Jonathan Schoop batted ninth in the order Saturday for the first time all season. Schoop has started all 11 games this season, batting eighth seven times and seventh three times.