Gausman, despite saying he felt Major League-ready, will try to go around five or six innings in Charlotte. He only lasted 3 1/3 innings in his last rehab start for Frederick, and manager Buck Showalter said the club is hoping he can get a longer outing under his belt before returning to the rotation.
"I think when this is behind him, I really think that he's going to go," Showalter said of Gausman, who dealt with the same issue last year. "I can just tell in his face. I saw him as I was coming in today, he was leaving to go to the airport to Charlotte. You can just tell he's looking forward to this. He's handling it maturely. He knows he needs another start, at least. We'll see."
The Orioles have been cautious with Gausman, especially given his history with tendinitis, and Showalter said it's part of the reason the righty was yo-yoed back and forth between Baltimore and the Minors last year.
"I know a lot of people, because we didn't talk about it, were wondering about Kevin, up and down, and different things going on with him. That had a lot to do with it. We were trying to get him through the year, thinking if we could get all these things behind us," Showalter said.
"There's nothing chronic or something. We've taken a lot of pictures and whatever you want to talk of. We know what we're dealing with, it's just there's some stuff that comes with pitching for a living. Every chance we got last year, we tried to shorten his season a little bit without putting too much wear and tear on him."
Gausman could make his season debut on the team's upcoming two-city road trip to Kansas City and Tampa Bay, though that will be determined after Tuesday's outing. The same goes for Matusz.
"There's thresholds … you cross mentally and emotionally as much as you do physically," Showalter said. "That's something that's only going to come with time."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.