Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman made his second rehab outing of the season Friday night, pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing two runs, one earned, at High-A Frederick.
Gausman, who began the year on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, allowed four hits, two walks and struck out eight against the Lynchburg Hillcats, a Cleveland Indians affiliate.
The Orioles had been hoping he could complete five innings or throw as many as 90 pitches, but he didn’t quite get there.
Now the question is what is next for the 25-year-old right-hander?
He was tentatively scheduled to re-join the Orioles and potentially start Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
That’s not a good matchup for anyone, especially someone making his season debut. Orioles manager Buck Showalter and his staff will discuss their options, but it would be surprising if Gausman didn’t get at least one more minor-league rehab start before returning to the majors.
Gausman dealt with shoulder discomfort last May and he said it took him a while last year to really feel confident and comfortable on the mound. So the Orioles likely will err on the side of caution and make sure he is healthy and effective before placing him in the big league rotation. The plan, since last year ended, was to make sure that once Gausman was starting in the majors, he could stay for there for the remainder of the year.
The Orioles also have enough starting rotation candidates in the majors right now that they don’t have to rush Gausman back.
Gausman isn’t the only Oriole who pitched Friday for the Keys. Lefty reliever Brian Matusz (intercostal strain) threw three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run — on a solo homer — while striking out three. It was a much better performance than his Monday outing, in which he allowed six earned runs in one inning for Double-A Bowie.
Matusz appears to be closing in on his return to the majors.
No matter what happens, both Gausman and Matusz at least had a unique experience in Frederick, getting the opportunity to wear lime green jerseys. It was part of “Be Seen in Green” night, a “Keys For Life” fundraiser with the players’ jerseys being auctioned for charity.