Rotating the starters

Kevin Gausman is back with the Orioles, and he’s expected to stick around this time as long as his performance warrants it.

That’s an important caveat. The Orioles aren’t limiting his innings now, but he’s got to pitch effectively to remain in the rotation.

It’s going to be a six-man rotation after Ubaldo Jimenez comes off the disabled list, and the Orioles continue to scout Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, among others. I’m still under the impression that they’re more determined to find another late-inning reliever, but they’re certainly open to acquiring a starter.

Something about never having enough pitching.

The trick is finding room for everyone.

The current Yankees are 1-for-15 against Gausman, with Brett Gardner having the only hit in five at-bats.

Gausman has never started against the Yankees, but he’s 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five career relief appearances.

The Yankees are expected to start right-hander Chase Whitley, who’s 4-2 with a 4.94 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) this season. He’s failed to complete five innings in five of his starts, and failed to complete four innings in two of the last three.

None of the Orioles have faced Whitley, just as none had faced Shane Greene before yesterday.

Oh swell.

Tonight’s game airs on ESPN at 8:05 p.m.

Gausman will be recalled today as the corresponding roster move for Jimenez going on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle injury. Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez have been optioned to the minors. More tweaking of the rotation as we approach the All-Star break.

“Somebody said, ‘Well, why doesn’t it happen more?’ Well, most people don’t have optional starters, I think,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We had another one, too (Wei-Yin Chen). Could have and still can if we have to.”

Showalter pointed out that it takes a certain amount of trust for this kind of maneuvering to work.

“You sit down with a Bud Norris and you sit down with Miguel, you’ve got to be able to say, ‘OK, this is exactly where you’re coming back, this is where you’re going to pitch, this is why we’re doing it. It’s best for you and your career and our club. You’re not going to lose service time if you don’t stay down more than ... They have to stay down more than 20 days before it affects their service,” Showalter said. ‘

‘You try to put yourself in their head when they walk in there, and go, ‘OK, what would I be asking if I were a player?’ It’s like, ‘Here’s why we’re doing it, here’s why it makes us better, here’s where it helps our bullpen during this time, here’s where it helps our bench during this time. And most importantly, it helps you, which helps us.’ So, I think it’s as much about trust.

“I think there’s a good vibe about, they know we’re not just pulling things out of the air. Let’s face it, Miguel probably has probably pitched the two best back-to-back games maybe of his career. Plus, the most important thing is he gets there for (daughter) Leah’s birthday. It is important.

“I dubbed over our daughter’s first birthday. I thought I had a different tape, and I have not been forgiven for that. It killed me. But we were able to work it out (with Gonzalez).”

Showalter called Gonzalez into his office and checked on the right-hander’s plans for next week. The conversation apparently went something like this:

Showalter: “Miguel, what are you going to do during the break?”

Gonzalez: “We’re flying out Monday morning bright and early.”

Showalter: “Let’s talk about a possible adjustment on that.”

“I didn’t know about Leah’s birthday until we started talking about all that and we tried to figure out a way to get him at both places,” Showalter said. “So, he’ll get in (next) Sunday to L.A., which is where he’s going, be at the hotel Sunday night, then be with us Monday and pitch for us Tuesday.”

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