After Friday night's heartbreaking loss to the Yankees, the Orioles announced a roster move, and it was a bit of a surprise. They have optioned starting pitcher Kevin Gausman back to Triple-A Norfolk. A reliever will be the corresponding move, but that will be announced Saturday.
Gausman, a 23-year-old right-hander, is 3-1 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in four starts this season. Since his latest promotion, Gausman has made three starts, going 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in 19 innings. He beat two first-place teams (Blue Jays and A's) in that span. This wasn't like a less-than-talented starter getting things done with smoke and mirrors, either, as Gausman was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft and has been considered for the past few years the top pitching prospect (or one of top two, alongside Dylan Bundy) in the system.
So, again, this was surprising.
The Orioles made the move because they need a bullpen arm. After Miguel Gonzalez was activated from the disabled list, the club stuck with six starters on a temporary basis. Gausman gets squeezed out because he's the guy with options and the club didn't want to move anyone to the bullpen.
So the Orioles' rotation is now Chris Tillman (4.82 ERA), Wei-Yin Chen, (3.78) Ubaldo Jimenez (4.63), Bud Norris (3.73) and Miguel Gonzalez (4.41). And Gausman is back to Triple-A after showing signs of a possible breakout season.