He collected plenty of swings and misses this spring, but in the end, Kevin Gausman struck out trying to make his first Opening Day roster.
Baltimore demoted the right-hander Saturday, optioning him, left-hander T.J. McFarland and infielder Jemile Weeks to Triple-A Norfolk.
The 23-year-old right-hander still has the possibility to back in the Majors, potentially quite soon. The fourth overall pick from the 2012 Draft gave Baltimore plenty to consider in his second Major League Spring Training, posting a 2.45 ERA over 11 innings. The LSU product struck out 13 and walked four, keeping opponents to a .179 batting average without a home run allowed.
Gausman made his final pitch for a rotation spot last Sunday and impressed, striking out eight Pirates over four one-run innings.
"It's been fun," Gausman told the Baltimore Sun after the start. "It's been awesome. It's been a little different than last year. I kind of feel like this was really my first Spring Training. Last year, I just kind of felt like, it was every single day I came to the park, I was like, 'This is probably the day I'll go down,' and then, staying around a little bit longer than I thought, and I was pitching well last year.
"This year more than anything, I came into camp wanting to be in great shape, put on some weight in the offseason and just wanted to hit the ground running."
The hurler will return to Triple-A Norfolk, where he made eight appearances (seven starts) in 2013. In those outings, he managed a 4.04 ERA and a 33-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 35 2/3 innings.
Gausman's demotion likely leaves Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez in Baltimore's starting rotation.