Kevin Gausman will make Orioles debut on Thursday

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FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles will call up top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman to start Thursday in their series opener versus the Blue Jays.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told MLB.com just one week ago that the 22-year-old right-hander was “doing fine at Double-A” and not close to a promotion, but the O’s have lost seven of their last nine games and are desperate to get back into the hunt in the American League East.

Gausman ranked 26th on Baseball America‘s listing of the Top 100 prospects this past offseason and is sporting a 3.11 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 49/5 K/BB ratio in 46 1/3 innings this year at Double-A Bowie.

Gausman was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 June MLB Amateur Draft out of LSU and signed with the Orioles in July for a bonus of $4.32 million. If he pitches well, he will presumably be up for good.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.