Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman’s shoulder issue
Should the Baltimore Orioles be concerned about the shoulder issues of RHP Kevin Gausman?
Towards the end of the weekend we started hearing about RHP Kevin Gausman being shut down by the Baltimore Orioles. Right shoulder tendinitis is the name, and a cortisone injection appears to be the game. The Orioles said that Gausman will miss his next outing, which at this point also calls into question his availability to break camp with the team.
Publicly at least, manager Buck Showalter does appear to be overly concerned (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
"When we have some time here, try and clear it up before we break camp. Hopefully, that’s all it is. See where we are in two or three days. He won’t pick up a ball for two or three days."
The questions obviously is whether or not that’s just a stall tactic on the Orioles’ part, or if in fact it’s true. Tendonitis is something that will in fact clear up with proper treatment and concentrated rest. Furthermore it’s not uncommon for players to be feeling just a bit of discomfort at this point in the spring. However for a player who’s never been shot with cortisone previously, it’s interesting to say the least.
The Orioles have to at the very least be thinking of some sort of contingency plan,
if Gausman’s unable to break camp with them at the end of next week. And I’m not even suggesting that physically he won’t be able to go. It’s entirely possible that he might need to simply remain back and head to extended spring training to begin the season.
Depending on the timeline, it might not even be much of a decision to make. As I’ve said previously, the Orioles don’t need a fifth starter until week two when they find themselves in Boston. So if Gausman just needs a couple of extra days of work, they could easily just leave him in Sarasota and carry only four starting pitchers north at first.
But the Birds also want to ensure that this isn’t something that will linger. That’s why they’re being so careful with this for the time being. The Orioles play the roster and Norfolk Shuttle game enough during the regular season for various reasons – the last thing they want to do is have to play it early on because a starter goes down.
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Yesterday of course was the Orioles’ lone scheduled off-day during spring training, giving the players some time to themselves and with their families. So while in terms of the number of games we’ve been well into the second half of spring training, we some might look at that as the midpoint of sorts. Whereas the first part was heavy with road games, the second part of spring training is heavy with home appearances.
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The O’s will finish their spring slate of games with three at home in Sarasota next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday’s games are both at 6 PM, and Thursday’s final game at Ed Smith Stadium for this year is at 3 PM. The O’s will then spend one final night in Sarasota before flying to Philadelphia where they’ll play the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park at 6 PM on April 1st for the final game of Grapefruit League Play.