Gonzalez won't throw a bullpen today, but he said he will play catch and work on the side with assistant trainer Brian Ebel. He said he will be re-evaluated after that.
“Just when I wake up in the morning it’s a little tight, but once I get going walking around it feels a lot better,” Gonzalez said. "I’ll play catch today. We’ll get a little stretch in with Brian Ebel and see what he tells me.”
Gonzalez was scheduled to play in the Orioles’ annual charity golf tournament but he said his back will prevent him from doing so.
“That’s not going to happen,” Gonzalez said. “I was actually looking forward for that but it just didn’t happen. I’ve got to wait until next year again.”
** Don’t expect a news conference today for South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon. There’s still no official announcement from the club, but all signs point to a news conference Tuesday. Yoon remains here in Sarasota, but his locker is empty and he has not been at the complex since making an appearance on Saturday.
** Orioles manager Buck Showalter has mentioned he’s been impressed with nonroster pitcher Brock Huntzinger, saying he can tell he’s a step ahead after playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Even though he signed with the Orioles earlier this offseason, Huntzinger pitched in the Dominican for the first time in his career to get exposure as a minor league free agent. Huntzinger has had two stints in the Dominican, including 15 2/3 innings with the Estrellas, where he pitched to a 1.15 ERA. He later pitched in the postseason for the Aguilas.
** An early dark horse candidate to earn a spot in the bullpen is nonroster right-hander Evan Meek. Showalter thinks very highly of him. Meek was an All-Star in 2010 as a reliever with the Pittsburgh Pirates before his career was derailed by arm problems. He was moved into the rotation at the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate last season, which he said provided a necessary confidence boost after those injuries. However, he will likely compete for a bullpen spot with the Orioles this spring.