The Orioles’ first-round draft pick, LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman, is expected to soon join the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds and will make his pro debut Monday.
Gausman will pitch three innings that night for Aberdeen at State College and is expected to make six starts of three innings each for the IronBirds from now through the end of their season on September 5.
Gausman will fly to Birmingham, Ala., tomorrow to undergo biomechanical testing and then he will leave Birmingham to join the IronBirds.
Orioles director of pitching development Rick Peterson is quite aware that Gausman had a heavy load this season at LSU, pitching 123 2/3 innings, but said the 21-year-old right-hander can handle throwing several outings for the IronBirds.
“I thought what would be the downside if we put him on a six-man rotation, just so he can experience professional baseball rather than just throwing bullpens in Sarasota. We’ll give him one bullpen in between starts, rather than two, to really increase his rest and recovery space. So he’ll start Monday and pitch every sixth day, going three innings,” Peterson said.
“We could consider sending Gausman someplace else later (another affiliate) but with Aberdeen having an expanded roster, you are putting less of a strain on their pitching staff (with a starter going just three innings).”
Meanwhile, the Orioles’ second-round pick, University of Virginia pitcher Branden Kline, will likely follow a similar path as Guasman and join Aberdeen, but he is not quite ready to do that yet and just this week is beginning to throw bullpen sessions in Sarasota.
“We’ll see how he progresses with his bullpens,” Peterson said of Kline. “It may be a couple of weeks. We’d like him to have maybe throw two or three bullpens, then face hitters and simulate getting up and down like in a game. Maybe sometime by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week (he can report to a team).”
Kline is likely also headed to Aberdeen, but like Gausman, will first go to Birmingham to get biomechanical testing done.
On their way to join Aberdeen, the Orioles also have had their sixth-round pick, left-hander Lex Rutledge and ninth-round pick, right-hander Brady Wager take part in biomechanical testing.
So it looks like before the season is out, the Oriole will have four of their top nine draft picks pitching for the IronBirds with Gausman, Kline, Rutledge and Wager all on that team.
Delmonico update: Delmarva infielder Nicky Delmonico, the Orioles’ sixth-round pick in 2011 and one of the organization’s better hitting prospects, is seeing a doctor today to have his injured knee examined. He left the game last night with the injury.
It is the same knee that he injured on June 26. Then it was a medial meniscus injury, he had an MRI and missed about 10 days. Delmonico is batting .248 over 93 Shorebirds games with 22 doubles, 11 homers, 54 RBIs and an OPS of .763.
Melewski on the pregame show: I don’t think it was must-see TV, but I did make an appearance yesterday with Jim Hunter on the MASN “O’s Xtra” pregame show and we talked about the minor leagues, Dylan Bundy and more. Click here to watch.