Ubaldo's injury another chance for Gausman

Ubaldo's injury another chance for Gausman

BALTIMORE -- On Saturday, a day before he'll return to the Majors to start against the Yankees in the final game before the All-Star break, Kevin Gausman planned to watch Baltimore's afternoon game from inside the home clubhouse at Camden Yards.

The taxi squad was once an unusual position for Gausman -- a player can be with the Major League team a day before officially being recalled but can't watch from the dugout -- but it has become familiar this season as he shuttles back and forth between Minor League assignments and starts with the O's.

Gausman will be recalled again on Sunday after less than a week in the Minors, as the Orioles officially place Ubaldo Jimenez on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain.

"The first time I came up and did taxi squad, I was like, 'What do you mean? I just hang out in the clubhouse? What am I supposed to do?' Gausman said. "But now I'm like, 'All right, cool. I'll hang out.'

Typically, Gausman will watch from the video room and prod staffers with questions about the opponent's lineup.

For a growing pitcher, it's a good opportunity to learn on the fly, although his days with the taxi squad may finally be nearing an end. With Jimenez sidelined, Gausman will likely remain with Baltimore coming out of the break, and perhaps depending on Jimenez's recovery time.

"Any time you're up here for an extended amount of time, it's good," Gausman said. "It's just another opportunity for me to go out there and pitch well and try to keep us rolling."

The O's haven't outlined a plan yet for Jimenez's rehab, but the right-hander said he will "probably throw a simulated game," and right now, he's just icing his ankle to combat the swelling.

Jimenez will head out to California during the All-Star break so he can be close to the team when it starts back up on the West Coast next week. When he returns, Jimenez hopes to enjoy a strong second half -- something he's made a habit of in recent years -- perhaps as early as the sixth game after the break, if he's healthy.

"I always have a good second half," Jimenez said. "This one's no different. I've been looking forward to it."

One added benefit of Gausman's yo-yo season is that the Orioles no longer need to stress about an innings count. The rookie has thrown a total of 78 2/3 innings this season, and he's on target for a slightly lofty 180. Baltimore, it seems, will let him get close to that.

"He's ready to pitch until our season ends," O's manager Buck Showalter said.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.