LSU's baseball season ended last night with a shocking upset loss to Stony Brook in the Super Regionals.
Let the Kevin Gausman negotiations begin.
The Orioles made Gausman the fourth overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and watched helplessly Saturday as he pitched the 12th inning of Game 1 and seven innings of Game 2 on the same day.
Now that LSU has been bounced, the Orioles can work toward signing him and determining how that prized right arm is used.
Were the Orioles a bit nervous Saturday while Gausman was pulling double duty?
"What do you think?" manager Buck Showalter said on Saturday with a grin. "I think that's one of those questions you know the answer to. The college baseball game is different. If we were in their shoes, you'd understand it. We're looking at it selfishly. I'm not saying we were holding our breath, but you understand it's not something you have control over. He's not our property. The only thing we did was draft the rights to negotiate with him. A lot of people go through that.
"This time of year, you've got the best 16 teams in the country. Hopefully, he'll be fine. Alan Dunn, their pitching coach who was our bullpen coach here, wouldn't put a young man in jeopardy, and I'll trust that they know what they're doing."
The Orioles are expected to activate second baseman Brian Roberts from the 60-day disabled list tomorrow, which means another roster move is coming. Maybe two.
I say two because someone also has to come off the 40-man roster.
I've speculated in the past that Steve Tolleson could be optioned and I've been wrong every single time. It's not like I'm rooting for it. He's just been a logical candidate, and the same is true today. An infielder is coming up, which most likely means an infielder is going down.
Robert Andino can become the utility infielder. And the Orioles still need outfield depth with Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold on the disabled list, which probably means that Steve Pearce is safe.
Of course, Tolleson hit a three-run homer off Cliff Lee yesterday, just to make the decision a little harder.
Is Nick Johnson a consideration?
"Obviously, we're hoping that Robby joins us Tuesday and we'll have a decision to make," Showalter said. "And unlike years past, we'll be sending some people out that we'd like to keep."
As for the 40-man move, well, here's the roster again:
We could be reaching the point where Reimold is transferred to the 60-day DL, since he hasn't played since April 30 and he's still not cleared for baseball activities.
Josh Hader, the Orioles' 19th-round pick last week out of Old Mill High School, tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three yesterday in the Brooks Robinson All-Star Game. He's expected to sign quickly.
Seeing Ty Wigginton at Camden Yards over the weekend reminded me of two things: I miss having him in the clubhouse and I don't miss watching him play in the field.
Showalter made an interesting comparison yesterday. He says J.J. Hardy reminds him of former major league shortstop Kevin Elster, who spent parts of two seasons with the Yankees while Showalter was at the helm.
"Probably the best hands I ever saw on a shortstop was Kevin Elster," Showalter said. "Just pure hands."
So why don't more people seem to notice Hardy outside of Baltimore?
"He's not ... I can't use the word 'sexy.' My wife told me not to use it anymore. But what's better than 'flashy?' I think he's pretty spectacular in his own way," Showalter said.
"His substance is his style. His style isn't his substance. He'd rather make the play fundamentally sound than look aesthetically pleasing. He doesn't care about flipping it behind his back and, 'That's a great one for Plays of the Week.' First basemen love him. He's got the most accurate arm I've ever had. Great relayer. You like the ball rolling out there. He makes short hops look routine. And everybody in here knows how unroutine it is, but he makes it look that way and it's almost like people don't get the full effect of what he's doing out there because it's not flashy.
"I didn't know how good he was. I really didn't. If I had known then what I know now ... He's a good one. We're lucky to have him. He's a championship shortstop, OK? That's about as high a compliment as I can give. He's a championship shortstop."
So, hey, what's Jake Arrieta's role in the bullpen?
"When that phone rings, get up and get ready to come in the game," Showalter said. "That's the role. Get somebody out."
Seriously, when will people stop asking Showalter about roles? He doesn't define them unless it's closer Jim Johnson, and we sort of had to figure out that one ourselves before he confirmed it.
Former Oriole Erik Bedard returns to Camden Yards this week and will start Thursday for the Pirates. He's 4-6 with a 3.59 ERA.
The Orioles list Thursday's starter as TBA. That's Arrieta's slot, but he's out of the rotation. Tommy Hunter would be working on normal rest. So would Jamie Moyer, but I think it's too soon.
Wei-Yin Chen starts tomorrow for the Orioles, and Brian Matusz takes the ball on Wednesday. Brad Lincoln and Kevin Correia start for the Pirates.
The Orioles are 14-0 when their starter goes seven innings or more, including 9-0 at home.