NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter has Kevin Gausman scheduled to pitch the first game of Friday’s split doubleheader against the Rays at Camden Yards, with Bud Norris taking the mound in the nightcap.
Norris could be replaced by Chris Tillman after leaving today’s game with tightness in his right groin. Tillman is starting Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees and would be working on regular rest.
“I’m hoping we caught it in time,” Showalter said after today’s 6-1 win over the Yankees. “He felt it a little bit the inning before and I just didn’t want to take a chance. He’s getting an extra day next time out. Probably pitch the night game of the split doubleheader. We’ve got other options, but I’m hoping we caught it in time and kept it from developing into something with the groin that obviously you don’t want long-term.”
Norris grimaced as he threw a warmup pitch prior to the bottom of the sixth, which brought Showalter, head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and pitching coach Dave Wallace to the mound.
“He grimaces on every pitch,” Showalter said. “It might be the umpire, it might be the mound, it might be ... It’s hard to know. We had a feel. He talked to us a little bit the inning before and it went pretty well, and then between innings there we knew it was a possibility. I already had told Dominic (Chiti) who would come in if I had to go get him.
“It’s fortunate that we made that move last night that allowed us to handle that. Webby (Ryan Webb) had three days, Tommy (Hunter) had two and (Brian) Matusz had three, so if it was every going to happen, we were equipped to handle it.”
Norris was walking with a limp after the game. He’s had groin injuries on the left side, but not the right.
“In that (Francisco) Cervelli at-bat, I threw a fastball in on the second pitch and it kind of grabbed on me,” Norris said of the fifth-inning matchup. “I kind of felt kind of funny. I’ve had groin stuff before, especially my left one, not necessarily my right one. And you have to be real careful with those. I’m glad I got out of the inning, struck out (Brett) Gardner in the next at-bat to get through it, and I told the trainers in the tunnel it was kind of bothering me.
“They said go out there and throw your warmup pitches and see how it is. I could see it getting a little bit worse and I wanted to be smart. Hats off for the offense scoring early and the bullpen picking me up.
“It’s pretty sore right now. I’m going to get in there and do a little more treatment and get another ice and stim in. We get an extra day this week, too, so you’ve really got to take your treatment in the next couple days and see how it’ll progress.”
It’s too soon for Norris to gauge his availability for Friday night.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I don’t want it to go on and want to keep pitching for this team and so forth. But like I said I’ve really got to take it a day at a time.”