3/23/2014 7:22 P.M. ET
Gausman making strong impression on O's
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla. -- What's next for Kevin Gausman? Could Sunday have been his last appearance with the Orioles before heading to Minor League camp?
Gausman didn't know anything for certain about his next appearance, and manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles haven't decided on anything regarding where he'll start the year.
One thing's for certain, and it became even more clear after Gausman struck out eight Pirates hitters in four innings on Sunday: He's made quite an impression on the Orioles and looks as comfortable as he says he's felt this spring.
"It's been fun. It's been awesome. It's been a little different than last year," Gausman said. "I kind of feel like this was really my first Spring Training. Last year, I just kind of felt like, it was every single day I came to the park, I was like, 'This is probably the day I'll go down,' and then, staying around a little bit longer than I thought, and I was pitching well last year.
"This year more than anything, I came into camp wanting to be in great shape, put on some weight in the offseason, and just wanted to hit the ground running."
Gausman said he felt "herky-jerky" as he began Sunday's outing, and that resulted in a leadoff homer by Starling Marte, a walk to Travis Snider and a well-struck double from Andrew McCutchen. But Gausman got it under control from then on out, striking out three straight hitters to strand the runners and escape the jam.
"I liked the way he came back," Showalter said. "Most of the time, [Gausman] cocks his arm, but he came back and made some good pitches. He's going to get that a lot. He got it at Yankee Stadium last year. They can ambush him early. Guys can turn around a bullet up here. He's getting a better feel for slowing guys down."
Gausman only gave up one hit the rest of the way, finishing the day with eight strikeouts, two walks and three hits allowed in four innings. The 23-year-old right-hander owns a 2.45 ERA in Grapefruit League play, and he believes he's left Showalter, pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti a good look at what he's capable of.
"I definitely think that, and also Dom and Dave, they haven't seen me in person until this spring," Gausman said. "It's kind of big when you have a new pitching coach and a new bullpen coach. Everything kind of starts over. Things that happened last year, they do matter, but not very much in their eyes."
O's pick up Wallace, Ayala in addition to Adams
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles signed Brett Wallace to a Minor League deal on Sunday and will send the former Astros first baseman to Minor League camp.
Wallace, once a highly regarded prospect, was released by Houston on March 12. The 27-year-old had only two hits in 14 plate appearances this spring. He's hit just .242/.313/.391 over parts of four seasons in the Majors, but put together excellent offensive numbers in the Minors. Wallace has posted a .309/.383/.499 slash line in parts of six Minor League seasons.
The Wallace signing, along with Saturday's addition of infielder David Adams on a waiver claim from the Indians, figures to bolster the Orioles' corner-infield depth. Wallace has played first and third base, and Adams has played first, second and third.
Adams was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday, and he is expected to report to the Orioles' Minor League Spring Training complex when he arrives Monday.
"Adams has played a lot of different positions," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You can never have enough of those guys."
Baltimore also officially announced that right-hander Luis Ayala, who's been around Ed Smith Stadium for the last few days, has been signed to a Minor League contract and will report to Minor League camp. Ayala went 1-1 with a 2.90 ERA over 37 relief appearances with the Braves last season after the Orioles traded him to Atlanta on April 10.
Tillman getting back on track with 'pen session
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Chris Tillman reported to the Orioles' clubhouse Sunday morning after a bout with the flu forced him to miss his scheduled start Friday.
"It was really 24 hours of being sick, but it took me 48 hours to kind of recover," Tillman said. "I feel much better."
Tillman will stay on schedule, throwing a bullpen session Monday and then starting Wednesday night's game against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to start the other half of that split-squad day, taking the ball for Wednesday afternoon's game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Orioles haven't finalized the rest of their starting rotation beyond Tillman pitching on Opening Day and Ubaldo Jimenez after Tillman. But manager Buck Showalter said lefty Wei-Yin Chen will pitch in a Triple-A game on Monday rather than face the Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium, which seemingly indicates that Chen is lined up to assume the third spot in Baltimore's rotation.
"We're still looking at some matchups the first nine games," Showalter said, maintaining that nothing is official past Tillman and Jimenez. "Trying to look at a couple things, trying to see how it might match up with looking at Detroit's projected roster and Boston and the Yankees, where there might be a slight advantage."
• Before Sunday's game against the Pirates, the Orioles honored eight players and staff who were a part of the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. Among those who received their 2013 AFL championship rings were Gary Kendall (manager), Alan Mills (pitching coach), Henry Urrutia, Jonathan Schoop, Eduardo Rodriguez, Tim Berry, Michael Ohlman and Dariel Alvarez.
• Orioles infielder Michael Almanzar, the club's pick in the Rule 5 Draft, is dealing with a sore knee after being hit by a foul ball, Showalter said.
• Catcher Caleb Joseph was reassigned to Minor League camp after Sunday's game against the Pirates. Joseph went 3-for-16 with an RBI in Grapefruit League play.
The Orioles now have 41 players remaining in Major League camp, including seven non-roster invitees.