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.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.