CHICAGO -- Orioles rookie Kevin Gausman pitched a scoreless eighth inning out of the bullpen in Tuesday's loss to the White Sox, and the right-hander figures to remain as a reliever, at least through the team's current road trip.
"I think he's got a chance to be a starter again," manager Buck Showalter remarked dryly of Gausman, who is the organization's top pitching prospect.
"We got 70-some games left. We are going to have to do some things between now and the All-Star break. He and Zach [Britton], they both have options, we like them both on the club. I think these things kind of solve themselves. It's going to be about the need of the club. And the need of the club may be for [Gausman] to be starting at [Triple-A] Norfolk. We'll see."
Gausman, who made the jump from Double-A Bowie to the big leagues, initially made five starts before he was optioned to Triple-A as part of a roster crunch. He was recalled to Baltimore on June 24 and has made a pair of relief appearances, including picking up his first win with a team-high 4 1/3 scoreless innings on Friday.
With Wei-Yin Chen slated to make one more rehab start on Thursday, Gausman could be another casualty of a roster crunch next week.
"I think he benefits either way," Showalter said. "And I think we benefit either way, whether he continues to get starts down there or be a contributor out of the bullpen. I got an idea where it's going to all shake out after the break. But I'm going to leave an open mind to it til we get all the information."
Orioles option Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk
CHICAGO -- The Orioles optioned Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot for Wednesday's starter Scott Feldman.
The right-handed-hitting Valencia would have been useful with the Orioles about to face a bunch of lefty starters in a row, but Tuesday's activation of right-handed hitting outfielder Nolan Reimold made Valencia more dispensable.
"[It] could be short term," manager Buck Showalter said. "Nobody is going away. We like how Danny can help us. It's just where we were. At the time, it fit. Nolan and Brian [Roberts] have played one or two games. We wanted to cover ourselves with somebody who can play those two spots if there's any issues.
Valencia hit .230/.277/.508 with five doubles, four homers and eight RBIs in 21 games since being promoted from Triple-A, including a .282 mark against lefties.
Did he feel like he gave the Orioles a good idea of what he can do?
"I did and I didn't," Valencia said. "It's hard when you don't play sometimes for four or five days. It's definitely challenging. But I felt like I had some good at-bats. Recently, it's been tough to get some at-bats. But I guess that's part of being not an everyday player, being a guy that can come off the bench. So, it was tough."
The Orioles make a lot of roster moves and Valencia, who has 72 hours to report to Norfolk, will go down and try to do the same things that earned him his first promotion.
"I feel like I played well down there," said Valencia, who hit .306 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 40 Triple-A games. "So, I proved that I can be up here. But it's a numbers game, it's a business and I'll be ready whenever."
• Top second-base prospect Jonathan Schoop, out with a lower back injury, will start playing games on July 11 at either short-season Aberdeen or the Gulf Coast League.
• The Orioles start time for their Saturday, September 7 game against the White Sox has been moved from 7:05 p.m. to 1:05 p.m. The change is due to its selection for exclusive television broadcast by FOX. Eutaw Street gates will open at 11 a.m., with the rest of the ballpark opening at 11:30 a.m.
• Right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter celebrated his 27th birthday on Wednesday.
• The Orioles named Bowie right-hander Eddie Gamboa their Minor League Pitcher of the Month and Norfolk outfielder Henry Urrutia Player of the Month for June.
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.