Orioles Welcome Gausman To Baltimore

BALTIMORE—Before the Orioles decided to send first-round pick Kevin Gausman to short-season Aberdeen, the Orioles were still deciding on a plan for him for the rest of the season. The righthander had been working out at the team's complex in Sarasota, Fla., his days at Louisiana State officially closed, his future wide open.

"That's a conversation that we need to have with Kevin because I think he pitched over 125 innings this year for LSU," general manager Dan Duquette said, "so we need to have that conversation before we come up with what the plan is.

"Kevin's been pitching straight between some of the national competitions and college and the summer leagues for two years straight, so I think this little rest that he's had, I know it's welcomed by him. But I think it will serve him well as he gets going in pro ball."

Gausman, the fourth overall pick, agreed to a $4.32 million bonus after giving serious consideration to staying at LSU.

"It's been kind of stressful," Gausman said after signing his contract. "I didn't sleep very much last night and wasn't allowed to eat until about 1:30 today because I got my physical done. I was a little bit grumpy today, trying to get some food in
my belly."

Gausman figures to move through the system quickly as long as he stays healthy.

"I'd say my strength is definitely my fastball and my changeup," he said. "My changeup was probably the main reason I got drafted by the Orioles. My fastball is kind of a sinking fastball and at Camden Yards, the ball can fly out of here sometimes. But the biggest focus for me will be my two breaking pitches, my slider and curveball.

"Depending how long I spend in certain places (in the minors) is going to be determined by those pitches and whether I'm going to keep one or try to develop both. That will be a big difference-maker for me."


• The Orioles promoted first baseman Aaron Baker, 24, from high Class A Frederick to Double-A Bowie. Baker, acquired from the Pirates for veteran first baseman Derrek Lee at last year's trade deadline, was batting .266/.350/.549 with in 319 at-bats. However, Baker strained an oblique muscle taking batting practice and could miss significant time.

• The Orioles released righthander Scott Copeland from Frederick's roster. Copeland, a 21st-round pick in 2010 out of Southern Mississippi, was 3-8, 6.88 in 18 starts, with 118 hits allowed in 86 innings.