Baltimore Orioles: Gausman to Chicago, Bud Norris pushed back
Prior to heading to Chicago last night, Buck Showalter announced that the Baltimore Orioles were pushing Bud Norris back a day in the rotation. But are they truly doing that, or is Showalter using “smoke in mirrors?” First off keep in mind that coaches in sports use that tactic quite often. Whereas on the street we would call a pulled groin a groin injury, coaches will often use the term lower abdominal strain. It’s just part of the job.
Miguel Gonzalez will start on Sunday afternoon in place of Norris in Chicago. However Showalter also said that Kevin Gausman would accompany the team to Chicago. Again…interesting. I’ve been saying all week that Gausman should get a crack at the rotation and Norris should head to the bullpen – is that what the Orioles are doing? Again, keep in mind that Showalter’s a master at this “coach speak” thing. My personal opinion is that Gausman earned himself another start, and that’s already set in stone – in Buck’s mind.
That Balls Outta Here
However keep in mind that Showalter knows the media and even fans hinge on every word out of a coach’s mouth. He doesn’t want to tip his hand before he has to do so with regard to opponents. So again, read
Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
between the lines of what I wrote above: Kevin Gausman will accompany the team to Chicago. The road trip also includes a trip up to Minneapolis, which is where Gausman’s prospective turn in the rotation would in theory fall.
The point is that Showalter’s not publicly giving Gausman a rotation spot – but he’s not saying it won’t happen, either. Again my personal belief is that Gausman has the slot and he’s preparing to start…presumably on Tuesday against Minnesota. But that’s not to say that the media, and more importantly the Minnesota Twins need to know that for the time being. For the record, Showalter will always let the opposing manager know in “due course” if he’s making a change to his starting pitcher or something along those lines. I don’t think every manager does that, nor do I think it’s a rule. I believe it’s just a professional courtesy that Buck grants to his peers.
But if we’re talking about Tuesday’s game, now is not “due course” in terms of letting the other guy know who’s starting. Nevertheless, Showalter also said that Bud Norris would be available out of the bullpen tonight and this weekend if needed. So again my personal opinion is that Norris is now a de facto reliever. And that might be the best thing for him to be quite honest. Many players, including the Orioles’ own Tommy Hunter, have reinvented themselves as relievers. All pitchers want to be starters, but bear in mind that the world needs relief pitchers as well.
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At times the Orioles seem to be going on a day-by-day basis in terms of the rotation. But is that any different than last year or the year before? Keep in mind that what I said above is merely my reading of the tea leaves. I might be dead wrong, and Norris could still well be slated for a starting job moving into the future. Again, Showalter wants us to be thinking about this type of thing, as he wants to keep his opponents on their feet. I suppose that we might prematurely end up figuring it out if Norris ends up coming into a game out of the bullpen. But even then…starters throw bullpen sessions in between starts. It wouldn’t be the first time that the Orioles had a starter throw their bullpen session literally in a game!
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