Gausman's short spring debut part of Orioles' plan

Gausman's short spring debut part of Orioles' plan

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Kevin Gausman's spring debut didn't last long, as the right-hander worked a scoreless first inning on 14 pitches in Wednesday's game against the Tigers. But that's all part of the Orioles' plan, as the club hopes the young right-hander can avoid getting shut down early again this season.

"Every year is a little bit different," said Gausman, who is in his third big league camp. "My first year I wanted to come into camp and show what I had. Possibly be an option for later in the year, knowing I wasn't going to make the team [and I] pitched well. Last year I came to camp [and] felt I had a good chance of making the rotation and then we signed Ubaldo [Jimenez]. So, it's one of those things. Every spring is going to be different.

"That's one thing that's different this year is they kind of held me back. [The Orioles] told me 'don't throw any bullpens before you get to camp'. Normally I throw seven or eight bullpens before camp."

Gausman said he tried to approach the one-inning spring debut like a regular start and, overall, was pleased with how he felt. Gausman allowed a leadoff single to Anthony Gose before getting a double-play ball. He ended the frame by striking out J.D. Martinez.

"Just taking a lot of precautions with a lot of the guys, not just Gausman, to save our bullets as much as possible," manager Buck Showalter said of the short start. "Obviously we will start stretching him out as we go forward, see where our pitching staff takes us."

In 2014, Gausman threw 113 1/3 innings in the Majors and 45 1/3 in the Minors. He started the season in Triple-A, and Baltimore was cautious with his innings early to keep him as an option for the Orioles during the postseason.

Showalter said Wednesday that Gausman has a little different air about him this spring, less cautious and more comfortable knowing what's expected of himself in Major League camp.

"There's nobody here that asks better questions. They are sincere, too," Showalter said. "You won't see him make the same mistake twice very often."

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