BALTIMORE -- Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette made it clear earlier this week that top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman was not a candidate to make Saturday's start. But that doesn't mean the 22-year-old can't continue to create a ruckus down in the Minor Leagues.
Gausman struck out a career-high 10 batters for Double-A Bowie on Friday night, allowing an earned run on four hits over six innings in an impressive 90-pitch outing. The Orioles' first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft has a 3.11 ERA for Bowie and has allowed 21 runs (16 earned) on 44 hits over 46 1/3 innings, striking out 49 and walking just five.
The expectation is still that Gausman will make the jump directly from Double-A to Baltimore, as third baseman Manny Machado did last year. And while Duquette simply said Gausman was fine where he was, the Orioles rotation -- with two starters on the disabled list -- is in disarray, and Jason Hammel's 4 2/3-inning start on Friday didn't help matters.
Jurrjens to make O's debut on Saturday
BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Jair Jurrjens was in the clubhouse on Friday, and he'll be added to the roster and make his Baltimore debut on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jurrjens -- signed as a non-roster invitee this past offseason -- will be making his first Major League start since July 22, 2012 -- a 2 1/3-inning outing for the Atlanta Braves in which he surrendered six earned runs to the Washington Nationals. In eight starts with the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate, Jurrjens is 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA, pitching 51 2/3 innings and allowing 19 runs (18 earned) on 44 hits and 15 walks with 36 strikeouts.
"It's feeling good," Jurrjens said of his right knee, which has hampered him the past few years and remains a question mark, with the Orioles changing the terms of their initial terms of the contract following some issues with Jurrjens' physical.
"I haven't really been paying attention to my velocity," Jurrjens said. "I really cannot tell you how fast I am throwing. I'm just happy with the way I've been performing the last couple outings. I'm getting a lot of swings and misses again, and that's a good sign. I'm just trying to repeat my delivery and keep being consistent and keep on getting innings."
Jurrjens' regular day at Norfolk would have been Saturday, and he'll face the Rays for the first time in his career, with an opportunity to stick in the Orioles' rotation because of Wei-Yin Chen's oblique injury.
"If the command is there, he'll give us a chance to win," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Jurrjens. "It's been a long journey for him. I'm sure tomorrow, I don't know if anxiety's the word. He's done this before. I know a lot of people miss, I know I did originally, how young he is. This guy's not like 31, trying to make a comeback. [He's] 26, 27 years old. We'll see. I'm anxious to see."
Since becoming a National League All-Star in 2011 -- when he was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA at the break -- Jurrjens has struggled. Last season, he was 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) for Altanta, spending most of the year at Triple-A Gwinnett before he was non-tendered this past winter.
"It's not my first time pitching in the big leagues, in a big league ballpark," said Jurrjens, who is a career 53-37 with a 3.62 ERA.
When asked if he will approach Saturday as a tryout, Jurrjens said, "I'm just going to take it as another game. I'm going to go out and try to eat innings and try to give my team the best performance I can."
Gonzalez rehabbing, aiming for Tuesday return
BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez pitched in a simulated game at Camden Yards on Friday afternoon, and the right-hander remains on track to start next week against the Yankees.
Gonzalez, on the disabled list with a blister on his right thumb, did not use a protective wrap on Friday and threw to several Orioles hitters, including Chris Snyder, Chris Dickerson and Alexi Casilla. He warmed up with 25 pitches in the bullpen and was pleased afterwards with how he felt.
"[I] thought it was going to be worse, but I felt pretty good actually," Gonzalez said after throwing around 50 more pitches. "I'm happy to be on the mound again, and being able to face my teammates was pretty fun."
The Orioles don't need another starter until Tuesday and manager Buck Showalter said that the team is leaning toward having him make that start, although they haven't completely ruled out Gonzalez returning on Monday. Both games are against the New York Yankees, who will come to Baltimore for a three-game series that starts on Monday.
Gonzalez, who was removed from May 3's start in Anaheim due to the blister, is 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts this season.
• Manny Machado's 18 multihit games through May 16 are the most by a player under 21 in the live-ball era (since 1921).
• The Orioles announced a new "Birdland Summer 6-Pack" ticket offer on Friday afternoon, with fans able to select tickets to six home games, including two prime games, all at the non-prime game price. For as little as $54, fans can choose from 20 prime games and 41 non-prime games with the potential savings up to $70 per package
• The Orioles, in partnership with Majestic, have announced a special opportunity for fans to play catch on the field for the first time on Father's Day, Sunday, June 16, prior to their game against the Boston Red Sox. Fans may purchase one of two ticket packages that include a pair of tickets for the 1:35 p.m. game and a 25-minute pregame session of catch on the Oriole Park field. A portion of the proceeds will benefit OriolesREACH and the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation. More details are available on Orioles.com.
• Catcher Taylor Teagarden had the splint removed from his fractured thumb on Friday in Sarasota, Fla., while infielder Wilson Betemit (knee) started jogging in the pool at the team's rehab center.
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.