After beginning the season in the bullpen and spending the last six weeks on the disabled list, Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will make his first start of the season in Toronto on Saturday.
The 24-year-old will slide into the rotation spot previously occupied by lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who was temporarily optioned to Single-A Frederick to make room on the 25-man roster for outfielder Chris Parmelee on Tuesday. Gausman has been on the 15-day DL since May 8 while dealing with right shoulder tendinitis, but the Orioles have used the last couple weeks to once again stretch him out as a starter.
On Tuesday, Gausman pitched two innings for Frederick, allowing a solo homer on the first pitch of the game and striking out two while walking none. The right-hander threw 29 pitches and equated the abbreviated outing to a glorified bullpen session he would normally complete between starts. When asked Tuesday if he had been stretched out enough to start, Gausman estimated that he should be ready to throw 80 or 85 pitches at this point after following the work routine of a starter for a few weeks.
In 12 innings in relief earlier this season, Gausman posted a 4.50 ERA with 13 strikeouts and five walks. The 2012 first-round pick made 20 starts last season, going 7-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 113 1/3 innings.
Gausman made his major league debut at Rogers Centre on May 23, 2013.
In other news, center fielder Adam Jones missed his second straight game on Wednesday while continuing to nurse a right shoulder ailment. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters he wasn’t committing to Jones definitely returning to action on Thursday, but he expressed optimism that the veteran would be back by Friday at the latest.
Continuing to recover from a groin strain, right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to make a start for Double-A Bowie on Saturday and is expected to return from the disabled list next week.