FORT MYERS, Fla. – Buck Showalter is hoping he won’t have a question to answer on replacing Kevin Gausman. He thinks that Gausman, who had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder on Sunday, will be over his tendinitis before Opening Day.
“No. I don’t think we’re going to have that decision to make. I think Gaus will make it,” Showalter said before the Orioles faced the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
In order for Gausman to be eligible to pitch as the Orioles’ fifth starter, he would have to be on the 25-man roster when the season begins on Apr. 4.
The Orioles will need a fifth starter on Apr. 10, and if Gausman’s not ready, he’ll have to avoid the disabled list.
Showalter took special precautions with Gausman last year when shoulder tendinitis sent him to the disabled list in May. The Orioles hoped that he’d be able to pitch without restrictions this year.
“It was all about this year and also having him with us as long as possible and doing all the things to protect this guy we think can be a contributor for us for a long time. That was part of it last year, too was trying to massage our way through all that. We’re there now. This doesn’t change that,” Showalter said.
The leading contenders to replace Gausman on the active roster are Tuesday’s starter, Mike Wright, who allowed three runs on five hits in four innings, and Tyler Wilson, scheduled to start on Thursday.
Showalter is still hoping for Gausman.
“Said he already feels better, so hopefully in the next day or two we can get him back on the mound. I think that’s the first injection he’s ever had. There’s some uncharted territory for him because he’s never had any problems before, so he doesn’t have anything to measure it against from the past,” Showalter said.