Gonzalez's back

Closer Mike Gonzalez recorded two outs in yesterday’s game “B” game and exited with lower back stiffness. Gonzalez said he’s going to take it easy today and rest, and was pretty optimistic about the whole thing. Given the myriad of injuries he’s had in his career, I guess back stiffness ranks pretty low.

“It’s only Spring Training, so no big deal,” he said.

Still, Gonzalez hasn’t looked good in his first few outings this spring. He’s allowed an earned run over four hits over two frames with two walks and two strikeouts. He told me he won’t be pitching in the games in Fort Myers, so the soonest day to see him on the mound again would be Wednesday.

Signed to two-year deal in the offseason, Gonzalez underwent Tommy John
surgery on his left elbow in 2007 and missed most of ’08. Last season in Atlanta,
he set career highs in appearances (80), innings pitched (74 1/3) and
strikeouts (90) and has held opposing hitters to a career .209 batting
average. He also underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery while still a Pirates prospect in 2000.

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