The Orioles must not want Kevin Gausman to feel like he's the only pitcher they will yank around across all levels of the organization. Before Thursday's game against the Nationals, they announced that Bud Norris was optioned to Double-A Bowie. With the extra roster spot, they brought up, what else, a reliever, in the form of Preston Guilmet.
Other than the fact that the Orioles are basically the only team doing anything like this, it actually makes some kind of sense. Norris looked rusty in his first start after returning from the disabled list. The option to Bowie means he can shake off the rust a little bit in a meaningless minor league start on Monday.
Because of his groin injury, Norris has only started one game since June 21. The Orioles did not send him on a minor league rehab assignment before activating him from the disabled list. This is almost like a belated minor league rehab stint. It's just a bit out of the ordinary because that's how Duquette rolls. If Norris was fourth to start a game coming out of the All-Star Break, he wouldn't be starting again until July 21.
Of course, if I was Norris, I'd be a bit peeved, because he's been in the big leagues long enough that you wouldn't have guessed he had an option remaining. Roster-manipulating madman Dan Duquette will leave no stone unturned for this kind of thing. Norris can also forget about an All-Star Break vacation. That's tough luck. Then again, he gets $5.3 million this season regardless.
Norris has to stay down for ten days, so as it turns out, they can bring him back right for that July 21 start. Duquette seems like a madman, but he's got it all under control for now.