BALTIMORE — The Orioles are considering their plan of attack for what’s next for right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman while crossing their fingers that his shoulder tendinitis is nothing more serious.
The 2012 first-round pick is feeling much better after taking anti-inflammatory medicine upon being placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday. Gausman was scheduled to be examined by team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs on Monday and will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam on Tuesday, but manager Buck Showalter has already indicated that the preliminary plan is to once again stretch out Gausman as a starter at Triple-A Norfolk when he’s healthy enough to resume pitching.
Of course, that’s assuming the Orioles aren’t dealing with something more serious with the talented 24-year-old’s health as they’ve maintained that he probably could have continued pitching through the discomfort if necessary.
“I’m not going to underplay it. We put him on the ‘precautionary’ DL without casting that on somebody else,” Showalter said. “It was just something we felt was right for Kevin with some of the things that were going on. I have some caution about getting too far ahead of ourselves until Dr. Jacobs [examines him] and the MRI is taken.
“It’s the first time Kevin’s ever had any symptoms like that. He feels great today, so I’m hoping that it was simple tendinitis.”
The timing of Gausman’s injury comes as starter Bud Norris turned in another poor outing on Sunday, lifting his season ERA to 9.88 over six starts. Gausman was being used out of the bullpen and had posted a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings of work after pitching to a 3.57 ERA in 20 regular-season starts last year.
Gausman last pitched on May 6, making him eligible to be activated as soon as May 22. However, if he’s being groomed to return to a starting role, he would likely spend more time with the Tides to get back into the routine of pitching every five days.
Showalter and the Orioles can only hope that’s the biggest decision they’ll be making as it relates to Gausman’s future and the health of his right shoulder.
“It wasn’t hurting him when he was pitching,” Showalter said. “Once he got loose, it was fine. Until we get through [Tuesday], I’m going to be very cautious with him about what the future holds.”
In other injury-related news, catcher Matt Wieters received the day off in Sarasota and is scheduled to catch eighth innings in an extended spring game on Tuesday and pushing that to nine full innings on Thursday and Saturday.
Infielder Everth Cabrera (bruised left foot) took batting practice at Camden Yards Monday and is expected to begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie later this week. After he reached five years of major league service time last month, the Orioles can no longer option Cabrera to the minors without his consent.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop (right knee) hopes to begin baseball-related activities this week and is working out on a pool treadmill in Sarasota.
Left-handed reliever Wesley Wright (left trapezius straing) is expected to throw off a mound in Sarasota this week and could begin a rehab assignment or pitch in an extended spring game as soon as May 19.