Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman will have his next start pushed back due to an intercostal muscle issue, according to manager Buck Showalter.
“Gaus has a little … start of an intercostal (strain), and we think we caught it in time. We’ll see how it manages,” Showalter said. “We just don’t think it’s smart to have him pitch on Sunday. (He) wasn’t sick, but he had some things happen to his body (during his last start) that meant he might have been a little short on fluids. That may have been some of it. We’re hoping it was more of that than anything else. But we’ll see.”
Gausman, who last pitched Tuesday versus Boston, would have received the assignment Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but now that will go to rookie Dylan Bundy.
Showalter said Bundy, whose workload is reaching a career high, would have pitched Tuesday or Wednesday if Gausman would have been able to start Sunday.
Whoever starts Tuesday – it could be Chris Tillman — would be on schedule to pitch the season finale Sunday in New York if necessary, but Showalter said that’s not a major consideration right now.
“Ideally, that’s the way you would do it,” Showalter said. “But where we are with some of the physical challenges we have, we may not have that luxury.”
Starter Wade Miley, who will pitch Saturday against Arizona, leaves the team Sunday to be with his wife who is about to give birth. He likely will re-join the team for its final series in New York and be a candidate to start there.
Reliever Jayson Aquino is dealing with a viral infection and is not available to pitch. The Orioles could consider bringing up another left-hander if Aquino’s illness continues. T.J. McFarland is an option.
In other news, Showalter said the Orioles will play the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team during spring training in Sarasota next year. Manny Machado is expected to be on that team.
Steve Pearce’s forearm tendon surgery went well and Showalter said he is expected to be recovered in time for spring training. Pearce is a pending free agent, and Showalter has expressed interest in bringing back the versatile infielder/outfielder.
The Orioles will hold an on-field ceremony for retiring Red Sox slugger David Ortiz at 6:50 p.m. Thursday night.