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Showalter keeping rotation plans close to vest

Gausman expected to get innings with Norris in bullpen

CHICAGO -- Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman is preparing as if he's making another start for Baltimore, and all indications are that he will. The O's have Miguel Gonzalez listed as Sunday's starter -- which would be Bud Norris' spot -- and Norris was again available out of the bullpen on Friday with nothing imminent on when, or if, he will make another start.

"He could [get another start]," O's manager Buck Showalter said of Norris, who has a 6.79 ERA in 11 starts. "It would benefit the team for him to [do] a lot of different things. He's already contributed, and he will again. We'll see what each day brings and how we can best win a baseball game that night. But we'd like to stay at seven pitchers down there [in the bullpen] as long as we can."

Video: [email protected]: Norris gets Sandoval to hit into double play

Showalter said Norris, who hit the disabled list with illness earlier this season, has been under the weather and he would be available in relief against the White Sox only if he checked out OK Friday evening by a doctor. The righty, coming off a career year, has struggled to regain any kind of consistency, while Gausman pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Thursday's start against Texas. Norris declined comment when asked about his upcoming schedule.

"I think I've shown that I can pitch at this level," said Gausman, who has been on a back-and-forth shuttle between Triple-A and the Majors and has not made consecutive starts since last September. "Whether it's in the rotation or out of the bullpen, that's up to them. But I think I've shown if I can pitch every fifth day, I'm pretty comfortable in my abilities. I'm still learning. I'm still learning at this level. I think I only have 170 innings in the big leagues so far. Still relatively low, especially for how much time I've had in the big leagues. It's all about going out there and competing, and I feel pretty comfortable right now."

Showalter wouldn't commit either way to a rotation beyond Gonzalez on Sunday, though he did admit that a decision looms.

"We have some options there and we'll see how the smoke settles," he said.

"But [Gausman is] here for a reason, to pitch. I told y'all that he controls it. He pitched well and we want to continue to give him innings, either here or in Norfolk, to make sure he has enough. He did pretty good, didn't he?"

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.
Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Miguel Gonzalez, Bud Norris, Kevin Gausman