Showalter says bullpen a possibility for Gausman
SARASOTA, Fla.— Kevin Gausman pitched just one inning in the Orioles’ 6-4 loss to the Tigers on Thursday and manager Buck Showalter said he could shorten up the right-hander as a potential bullpen option in the final two weeks of camp.
“Until everything shakes out, I want him to be ready to do both things,” Showalter said of Gausman, who allowed two earned runs, both of which came on Victor Martinez’s homer on Thursday.
Gradually stretched out as a starter this spring, Gausman in shorter stints could tip the O’s hand as to how they want to shake out the Opening Day rotation, which right now has six guys vying for five spots.
“There’s a possibility [to go to the bullpen] for everybody,” Showalter said. “Really all options open right now. We’ve got some time to make decisions, dealing from some quality right now. I don’t worry about it a lot because we’re picking from a number of people we like. As opposed to last man standing.”
Gausman, instructed to not throw any bullpens until he arrived at Spring Training this year, had steadily been increasing his workload. Prior to Thursday, his last outing had been four innings in a Minor League start against the Red Sox.
Gausman said he wasn’t sure what the plan was for him innings-wise heading into the game and the Orioles haven’t talked to him about being in the bullpen yet.
“Yeah, obviously I think I showed last year that I can pitch out there [in relief],” Gausman said. “I feel good out there, but I also feel comfortable starting, so that’s pretty much their decision.”
Showater said he would confer with pitching coach Dave Wallace as to when Gausman would throw next, but said the team “isn’t there yet” with having him throw back-to-back days.