O's recall Gausman as Garcia sent out
Rookie right-hander returns to rotation while veteran righty awaits fate
BALTIMORE -- Seeking to bolster their overworked bullpen, the Orioles optioned Freddy Garcia and recalled rookie Kevin Gausman from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Monday's series opener against the Indians.
The veteran Garcia lasted 2 1/3 innings against Toronto on Sunday, surrendering seven earned runs in the Orioles' loss, and will head home to Miami while his next step remains undecided. Garcia -- who said that he has no plans to retire -- will become a free agent if he chooses to decline the assignment.
"I did my job for a little bit, and the last couple of starts, no," said Garcia, who recorded a 5.77 ERA over 53 innings, earning a rotation spot after a solid campaign with Norfolk. "So that's this game. Especially here [in Baltimore], they make a lot of moves. So it's my turn, I guess."
Gausman, who is an option to pitch on Friday in Garcia's spot, will work out of the bullpen for the next few days. With long man T.J. McFarland picking up 4 1/3 innings on Sunday, the Orioles need some length available, and the 22-year-old Gausman is on turn, having been slated to start for Norfolk following Monday's off-day.
"I hope we don't need it, but you better prepare for it," manager Buck Showalter said of having a pitcher available for multiple innings on Monday. "[We] would need a long guy tomorrow, too.
"It was [Gausman's] scheduled day, so he was the guy that fit our needs. [We] would have loved to [have] left him there, everybody would have. But we had a need, and other options weren't available, so we did that when he got off the bus last night."
Gausman, the Orioles' No. 2 prospect, was optioned to Norfolk after his June 13 start against the Red Sox. He exited in line for his first Major League victory but took a no-decision in an eventual 13-inning O's win. The 22-year-old has made five starts for the Orioles, going 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA after making the jump from Double-A Bowie. He has allowed 21 earned runs over 24 2/3 innings, with 20 strikeouts and six walks.
"It'll be a little different," Gausman said of being in the bullpen. "But at the same time, that's what I did in Spring Training, pretty much. That's something that'll be good for me. I kind of got into a little routine when I was in Spring Training [in terms of] how many pitches it took me to get ready. Obviously, you don't have too much time, but you just try to get ready as fast as you can. That's something in Spring Training that I tried to learn."
Depending on how he is used, Gausman could start on Friday, or the Orioles could also use McFarland. Tsuyoshi Wada has thrown better for Triple-A Norfolk, but Showalter said that he is not an option yet and will continue in Norfolk's rotation. The Orioles could add someone else from the Tides to make that spot start in Garcia's place.
Garcia, who said he enjoyed his time with the Orioles "very much," didn't rule out a possible return to the organization should he not get an opportunity to latch on at the big league level elsewhere.
Reynolds makes happy return to Baltimore
BALTIMORE -- A close-cropped Mark Reynolds sat in the visitors' dugout on Monday afternoon, swarmed by reporters and camera crews, prompting him to wonder aloud if something was up. Nearby, his Indians teammates teased that perhaps the 29-year-old infielder had been traded, mock-asking if he'd entered Camden Yards and headed to the wrong side out of habit.
"It's easy to say it's just another game," said Reynolds, who spent two seasons with Baltimore before being non-tendered this winter, "but it's going to be weird playing against these guys that I have such great relationships with. I'm going to have fun, and whatever happens, happens."
Reynolds, who followed his media session with some brief greetings to local reporters, made a beeline for the Orioles' on-field batting-practice session to exchange hugs and catch up with his former teammates.
An important part of last year's playoff run, Reynolds was the starting first baseman down the stretch for a close-knit club that he still keeps tabs on.
"It's good to be back," said Reynolds, who is from Virginia Beach and played at the University of Virginia. "I miss playing here, I miss the guys, I miss the city. But where I'm at now is a good situation, a great team, great manager. We are winning games, and it's a good new chapter for me."
Reynolds, who signed as a free agent with Cleveland in the offseason, made it no secret that he wanted to return to Baltimore, but the club opted to go another route. The Orioles wanted to give Chris Davis, who is hitting his way into the American League MVP race, the everyday spot at first base, and bringing back Reynolds -- even after declining his $11 million option -- simply didn't fit into the budget given what he would have earned in arbitration.
"We would have liked, in a perfect world, to have him back," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Reynolds, acquired prior to the 2011 season in a trade with the D-backs. "It worked out for him. ... It's one of those things, kind of frustrating, but you understand the way a lot of things work. You can do this, but that means you can't do that, you can do that, but that means you can't do this. You know, Mark is in a good place -- a good organization, a good manager, good teammates. I know our guys, and I like Mark. A good teammate. An easy guy to manage. [We] would have liked to have him, it just didn't work out. It's Cleveland's benefit to have him. "
"I moved on," Reynolds said of getting over the disappointment of not receiving a return offer from the Orioles. "Like I said, I'm in a great situation now -- a great group of guys, a great manager, a great city -- and I'm focusing on what we are trying to do and win some games for the Indians."
Reynolds, who started at third base on Monday, began the season by hitting .301 with eight homers and 22 RBIs in April. He's cooled off since, batting .231 on the season, including a .164 mark so far in June.
"Obviously, it's had its ups and downs, that's me," he said. "I started out good, didn't dig myself in a hole like I did last year, and I'm trying to stay afloat right now."
Roberts leads list of O's on road to health
BALTIMORE -- Several members of the organization are ready to take the next step in the rehab process.
Perhaps most notably, second baseman Brian Roberts will join Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, playing his first games since undergoing surgery on his hamstring earlier this season.
Roberts has been with the team for two weeks and has participated in such pregame workouts as batting practice and taking ground balls. But manager Buck Showalter said there's no simulation for game speed, so Roberts will likely play at least three games for the Tides.
"He really challenged himself physically in Toronto," Showalter said. "We sped the game up, but there's no substitute for game speed. And there'll be a different speed between Norfolk and here. He knows that, though. He's been down this road a few times."
Outfielder Nolan Reimold (hamstring) still needs more at-bats in his Minor League rehab assignment. He'll be with Double-A Bowie on Monday as it starts a four-game road series in Richmond, Va.
Lefty Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) threw four innings of a simulated game on Monday in Sarasota, Fla., and will be in Baltimore on Tuesday to take a work day with the team. After that he'll be sent for a Minor League rehab assignment that could be as short as one start.
"He'll take a work day here and let [pitching coach] Rick [Adair] and everybody here get their arms around how he is [physically]," Showalter said.
Chen is scheduled to pitch five innings in the Minors, and if all goes well, he may make just one start before rejoining the Orioles.
"You would then be bringing him back with the ability to go six or seven [innings]," Showalter said. "If he stays healthy, he could make as many as two starts before the All-Star break and as few as one. We'll see how Rick and everybody feels after his work day and, hopefully, his rehab start."
Bundy encounters setback in rehab program
BALTIMORE -- Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy had a setback in his rehab program on Monday and is expected to be reexamined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens on Tuesday.
Bundy, who had been throwing from 120 feet, felt some discomfort at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., and he is also expected to see Dr. James Andrews after being checked out by Wilckens. Andrews on April 29 administered the platelet rich plasma (PRP) in Bundy's right flexor mass -- the forearm/elbow area -- and prescribed rest for six weeks following the injection, which is supposed to spur growth.
The severity of Bundy's setback -- or if he will undergo another series of tests -- is unknown. Until Monday he had been slowly progressing toward getting up on a regular mound for the first time since March, but this development could change things considerably.
The fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy was ranked the No. 2 prospect in baseball by MLB.com entering the season but has yet to throw a pitch in 2013. In 2012 he went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 combined starts between Class A and Double-A before making his highly anticipated big league debut in September.
• Steve Pearce received a cortisone injection in his left wrist on Monday, and he will head to the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday. Pearce is hoping to be ready to return the first day he is eligible from the disabled list.
• Wilson Betemit (right knee) hasn't made a significant step forward with his rehab, as he continues to work out in Sarasota, Fla.
• Reliever Steve Johnson (oblique) is making small improvements in his recovery, Showalter said.
• The Orioles have signed right-hander Casey Upperman, from Independent Normal (Ill.) of the Frontier League, to a Minor League deal. He has reported to Class A Delmarva.
• Lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, recovering from Tommy John surgery, took a no-decision Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday after giving up two earned runs with two walks and no strikeouts in five innings.
"He's put together two competitive outings in a row, so that's good to see. Try to keep in mind, he's coming back from some serious surgery. We're fortunate he sees it the same way as us, and he's going to extend it," Showalter said. "I like the way he's pitched the last couple times out, he's been more competitive. And talking to the guys down there, he's featured some pitches that would play up here. I mean, we'll see. Hopefully, he can put a few more together."
• NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday's game against the Indians.
• On Saturday the Orioles will partner with the Coppin State University women's softball team to host its annual Baltimore City youth baseball and softball clinic. It will be held at Radecke Park from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy will be there to help teach 300 inner-city youth baseball and softball skills. The Orioles are also donating 600 tickets to participants for a future game.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.