BALTIMORE -- Top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman, who is expected to be one of the Orioles' September callups, could join the big league club earlier than that.
Manager Buck Showalter hinted at such a scenario prior to Saturday's game, with Gausman -- who would likely work out of the bullpen -- perhaps joining Baltimore prior to his next start for Triple-A Norfolk, scheduled for Monday night. The Orioles start a three-city road trip on Tuesday that opens in Boston, with stops in New York and Cleveland, and one possibility -- given Monday's off-day -- would be to send out a current starter and have the potential to get him back without missing a start.
Showalter met earlier this week with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to discuss September's roster expansion, with the callups expected to come in waves. In addition to Gausman, Norfolk starters Josh Stinson, Tsuyoshi Wada and Zach Britton are solid candidates to come up and add long relief help -- along with reliever Mark Hendrickson -- with outfielders Chris Dickerson and Jason Pridie also strong considerations.
Infielder Jonathan Schoop, the team's fifth-ranked prospect, is a possibility, but he's not a lock, nor is designated hitter Henry Urrutia. The Orioles, like last year, will only call up players they think can help the big league club's postseason chances, not just to take a look at some of their younger players. They will also have emergency candidates working out at an instructional league of sorts at their Spring Training facility in Sarasota, Fla.
"I know, initially, a pretty good idea about what we might do," Showalter said of the first day of expansion on Sept. 1. "Which of the left-handers do you want to get on the roster? Are you going to protect them in the offseason anyway? You are not going to risk losing him if you put him on. There's a lot of dynamics there. Schoop is going to the [Arizona] Fall League, do you leave him alone? There's a lot of moving parts here.
"I'll be glad when all the dust is settled, they are here and that's what we are doing. But there will also be some guys down in instructional league we can go down and get."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.