Top prospect Gausman to debut vs. Jays

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has already used 10 starting pitchers this year.

Last year this time Kevin Gausman was pitching for Louisiana State University. The next time he takes the mound, he’ll be facing the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Baltimore Orioles will select Gausman’s contract from double-A Bowie before Thursday’s game in Toronto, FOX Sports reported Tuesday. The 22-year-old right-hander will make his first major league start when the Orioles open a weekend series at Rogers Centre.

Gausman entered the season as the 26th ranked prospect in the sport, according to Baseball America. In eight minor league starts this year, he has a 3.11 ERA with 49 strikeouts and just five walks in 46.1 innings.

When Gausman takes the mound he’ll become the 11th pitcher to start a game for Buck Showalter’s Orioles. No team has used more starters this year, though the Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers are reasonably close with nine starters used each.

As always there are service time implications related to the callup. If Gausman stays at the big league level from this point on — a difficult task for any prospect — he’ll become eligible for free agency following the 2019 season. He could become eligible for arbitration as a super two player following the 2015 season.

The Orioles selected Gausman with the fourth overall pick of the 2012 draft. In Gausman and Dylan Bundy the Orioles have two of the game’s top right-handed pitching prospects. However the 20-year-old Bundy has battled elbow soreness in 2013.

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