Results tagged ‘ Mike Gonzalez ’

Tillman back on track.

Chris Tillman threw his first bulllpen since coming out of Sunday’s session early with back spasms, and appeared to be pain free. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz spoke with Tillman for a few minutes prior to him throwing and also briefly consulted with him during the session.

After throwing, Tillman approached head athletic trainer Richard Bancells, who was standing behind the bullpen, and appeared to tell him his back felt fine. Tillman also motioned with his hands to illustrate that he wasn’t in any pain.  

“Everything felt good,” Tillman said afterwards. “Obviously, it felt like I hadn’t played catch in three days, but other than that, everything felt good and looked good. Kranny said my delivery looked nice and smooth.”

Kranitz praised Tillman’s ability to throw in the strike zone and said the session was “exactly what he was looking for.”

Tillman threw a regular-length ‘pen, while most of the other Orioles pitchers just used their session to warm up. The club started live batting practice today, with Mike Gonzalez (below) kicking it off.

gonzalez bp.jpg

*Just like yesterday, Brian Roberts took grounders at second base, and will likely continue to do what he did on Tuesday.

Going Gonzo

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.

It's On..

UPDATE 11:22 a.m.: The media spoke with Felix Pie earlier, who said says he is healthy and free of pain from the strained left quadriceps that ended his season in September of last year. Pie said it took the full 5 1/2 months but now he’s confident and ready to go.

Pitchers and catchers have their first workout today, but after a brief walk around the clubhouse the media was ushered out for player physicals.

Meanwhile, in between hanging out at the field and unpacking stuff at my condo, I’ve been trying to see the city of Sarasota.  Thank you to those recommending places to eat and check out in the area;some of the reporters went to Gus’ Diner across the street from the stadium for lunch yesterday and it was a cheap, and satisfying meal. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome meal we had last night at Mediterraneo on Main Street. Robert Messick, chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, was extremely hospitable to the Orioles front office and press, even printing out a list of the top places to eat.  And the owner of Mediterraneo is a lifelong Orioles fan, with a Baltimore cap hanging proudly behind the bar.

And if you need any other reasons to go, it was easily the best Italian meal of my life. And I grew up in pizza-mecca New Haven, Conn. and consider myself a bit biased in terms of Italian food.

I did get a chance to catch up briefly with Kam Mickolio yesterday, who is competing for one of the final three spots in the bullpen. The right-hander was shut down last year after he was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. Mickolio has been down in Sarasota for about two weeks and said he threw around 10 bullpens already, all of which have gone well. He could factor in to the one of the remaining three spots in the bullpen.

If I had to guess, I’d say he makes the team as of right now. Even if the team opts to add a lefty specialist such as Ohman to the mix, that still leaves two spots after Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson, Mark Hendrickson and Koji Uehara. And Cla Meredith and Matt Albers will fight over the last right-handed spot. Keep in mind Albers is out of options, which means he would have to pass through waivers before going to Triple-A if he doesn’t make the team out of camp.