BALTIMORE — Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman is ready for the next step in his recovery from right shoulder tendinitis that’s sidelined him since the middle of the March.
After completing a 30-pitch simulated game in Sarasota on Wednesday, the 25-year-old is traveling to Baltimore and will make a rehab start lasting three to four innings for Double-A Bowie on Saturday. He would then make a start at Single-A Frederick next week with the goal of being activated on April 19.
Left-handed reliever Brian Matusz (left intercostal strain) is even closer to making his return and is expected to pitch one inning each on Thursday and Friday at Bowie. Should those outings go well, Matusz would be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday since his stint was backdated to March 25.
Pitching prospect Hunter Harvey (groin strain) threw 40 pitches in Sarasota and will pitch in a sim game on Saturday. Harvey will begin his season at Frederick when he’s ready to go.
Chris Tillman will start the series opener against Tampa Bay on Friday after the Opening Day starter threw only 22 pitches because of Monday’s rain delay. Mike Wright will make his first start on Saturday, but the Baltimore skipper has not yet revealed his No. 5 starter, who would pitch on Sunday.
Showalter didn’t try to make too much of the boos from some fans when outfielder Hyun Soo Kim was introduced on Opening Day after a turbulent spring that included him refusing a minor-league assignment.
“They’re waiting to embrace him,” said Showalter, who quipped that fans may have been calling Kim’s middle name. “So far, he hasn’t had the opportunity yet to give them anything. Hopefully, that will be there at some point. It didn’t seem to affect him. We’ll see.”
Below are Wednesday night’s starting lineups:
2B Brian Dozier
1B Joe Mauer
RF Miguel Sano
3B Trevor Plouffe
LF Eddie Rosario
DH Byung Ho Park
SS Eduardo Escobar
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Byron Buxton
SP Kyle Gibson (2015 stats: 11-11, 3.84 ERA)
3B Manny Machado
CF Adam Jones
1B Chris Davis
RF Mark Trumbo
C Matt Wieters
DH Pedro Alvarez
SS J.J. Hardy
2B Jonathan Schoop
LF Joey Rickard
SP Yovani Gallardo (2015 stats: 13-11, 3.42 ERA)