NEW YORK -- The Orioles optioned Kevin Gausman after Friday night's 5-3 loss to the Yankees, but the right-hander isn't really getting demoted.
The Orioles plan to add Gausman as their 26th player for Friday's doubleheader against the Rays, and he should stay on turn with the Major League rotation after that.
How? Gausman, who was replaced on Saturday's roster by reliever Brad Brach, will stay in the Minors for six days before he comes up on Friday. After he starts Friday, Gausman will be sent back down for the remaining four days -- since a player is required to stay in the Minors for 10 days after a demotion unless they're recalled to replace an injured player on the 25-man roster -- before making his next scheduled turn for the Orioles.
"We're just taking advantage of some of the things," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I took the time in the advance meeting yesterday to tell the position players about why and how. I just want them to understand. Obviously, Kevin's pitching real well and he'll continue to get that opportunity as long as he's pitching well. I just wanted them to understand the potential that could happen if we used up our length out of the bullpen last night."
Showalter said he also explained the move to Gausman, who could potentially pitch for Norfolk while awaiting Friday's start.
"I was very frank and honest and told him exactly what was going on," Showalter said. "[I said], 'I'll see you on Friday and enjoy the two or three days.' Unfortunately, we have to send him to Norfolk. He's going to go back to Baltimore and pick up his stuff."
Gausman has been excellent as of late, going 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his past three starts. He's posted a 2.74 ERA in four starts this season, giving up 20 hits in 23 innings while striking out 16.
Brach adds relief help a day after starter Ubaldo Jimenez went 5 2/3 innings, putting strain on a bullpen that was already down a man due to the O's previously employing a six-man rotation. Jimenez, who has walked 16 over his last 14 innings, will now pitch on regular rest on Wednesday, which would have been Gausman's start. With the off-day on Thursday, the struggling Jimenez will get the benefit of a full bullpen rather than pitching during the doubleheader.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.