Kevin Gausman on returning to the Orioles and getting tomorrow’s start

The Triple-A Norfolk Tides played at Indianapolis last night, so it took Kevin Gausman a couple of flights to get here. But after a trek from Indy to Atlanta to Norfolk, he’s now in the O’s clubhouse and set to start tomorrow against Detroit.

“Obviously, really excited,” Gausman said. “Pitched against them last year, so you know, little bit different lineup without (Prince) Fielder in there. Going to do my research and talk to the guys today. See what Bud (Norris) did last night against them. He obviously had success and went deep into the ballgame. I’m going to try and pick his brain a little bit today.”

Gausman was on the minor league disabled list with pneumonia and went about two weeks between starts. He just returned to pitch on Saturday, so tomorrow’s start will be on just three days rest. Is he surprised to be going on short rest?

“Not really,” he said. “I threw kind of a shorter bullpen two days ago, I believe. I feel good. I feel good physically. Had a little bit of sickness there for a little bit, but ended up being nothing too serious. Just happy to be feeling healthy, 100 percent and feeling great.”

Gausman is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA over six Norfolk starts. In 26 innings, he’s allowed 23 hits and seven runs with 14 walks and 26 strikeouts. Over his last three starts - two before he went on the DL - he’s pitched 14 1/3 scoreless innings.

He said it’s been an interesting year so far.

“It’s been kind of crazy,” he said. “Started off the season sick and had to grind through two starts where I wasn’t feeling very good. But that’s part of baseball. There are days you will feel bad and you’re going to have to go out and throw innings for the team.

“I feel good about all my pitches. It was just good to get out there especially after being on the DL. That was my first time being on the DL. Kind of frustrating to be around baseball all day and not play.”

Before Gausman was diagnosed with pneumonia, there were concerns there could be something else affecting him and that it could have been an issue that would keep him out longer.

So, in a sense, getting told he had pneumonia was actually a relief of sorts.

“Yeah, when the doctor told me, I was happy. I was like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ He was like, ‘This is probably the first time anyone has ever been happy to have that.’

“Was happy it wasn’t what we originally thought. They felt it might have been a cracked rib, intercostal strain or stuff like that. Didn’t really know until that day when we found out. Crazy two days there.”

The Orioles have limited Gausman’s innings this season and he has not pitched more than five innings or thrown more than 77 pitches so far.

But Gausman feels he can exceed both tomorrow when he opposite Detroit’s Justin Verlander.

“I’ve felt for a while I could go 90 to 100 pitches. I feel good physically and that is probably most important. I think part of the reason I was kind of held back a little bit this last start was I had just come off the DL,” he said.

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