So I’ve been watching closer Mike Gonzalez throw his bullpens this Spring and have been amazed at how easy he makes it look. The guy looks like he’s just playing catch. So, I asked him about it and turns out I was right: he pretty much is just playing catch.
“I’ve never really been a big Spring Training guy,” Gonzalez said. “I won’t get going [100 percent] until the last three outings.”
Gonzalez’s mindset isn’t that uncommon for a closer. When guys throw that hard and in short bursts, there’s really not a pressing need to get it humming in late February.
I also asked the lefty how many pitches he had because manager Dave Trembley had alluded to Gonzalez having a bunch, but the truth is he only has three and they’re pretty standard: fastball, slider and change-up.
Trembley pulled Gonzalez aside earlier this spring to tell him he was the team’s closer, so the lefty doesn’t have to worry about proving himself in camp. Gonzalez said the only date he’s focused on being ready is Opening Day on April 6, a mindset I’m sure the Orioles have no problem with.
*Also, Chris Tillman is scheduled to throw a side today after having back spasms for the last few days. The 21-year-old Tillman took an energy shot this morning with Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz, so maybe that will give the trio an extra burst….
*Nolan Reimold told me his left Achilles tendon has been responding well to the workouts, although it’s still a little sore. He isn’t limited at all, and he expects the soreness to subside as camp continues.