Gausman finds surprise waiting in his locker
O's veterans fill pitching prospect's stall with bags of donuts
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes to say his club "knows who they are." Some of the veteran players wasted no time on Sunday morning reminding pitching prospect Kevin Gausman who he is.
Participating in his first Major League Spring Training, Gausman found a surprise at his locker this morning. It was filled with bags of donuts, along with a sign that read, "Eat up- Jonesy," from centerfielder Adam Jones. The prank was a tribute to Gausman's habit of eating three powdered donut holes in between innings of his college starts at Louisiana State University, and was the latest in some good-natured ribbing directed toward the young right-hander.
Gausman, who was nicknamed "Dunkin" by reliever Darren O'Day earlier in camp, received a text message on Saturday night telling him to not arrive to the team's spring facility before 8 a.m. ET because the veterans had work to do. That work took about an hour, with several local grocery stores cleaned out of their donuts as a result. Gausman gave bags away to some of his teammates as the morning progressed, with O'Day having him autograph a bag that he dubbed a "one-of-a-kind."
The righty has thrown two bullpen sessions this spring, with Showalter offering his assessment of Gausman after watching closely on Saturday.
"He's got a good hand, a really good hand," Showalter said. "He's got a changeup that will play better the higher he goes up against better hitters. When you're throwing an 87-, 88-mph changeup in [short-season] Aberdeen, it's pretty good hitting speed. He's got a grasp of the changeup at a very young stage of his career. That plays. It means his breaking ball doesn't have to be that good."
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.