Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez was encouraged by his three-inning simulated game on Tuesday afternoon at Camden Yards and said he hopes to be able to return to the mound in a major league game Tuesday against the New York Yankees.
Gonzalez, who has been dealing with a slow-healing blister on the inside of his right thumb, threw 25 pitches in the bullpen and then 50 to 55 in the simulated game, throwing all of his pitches – including breaking balls – to teammates Alexi Casilla, Chris Dickerson and Chris Snyder.
Most importantly, he pitched an extended amount of pitches without a bandage on his thumb. He also took breaks between half-innings to replicate an actual game.
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“It felt pretty good, so I was happy with my performance,” Gonzalez said. “You’re always thinking about it when you’re throwing a pen or what not, but not I’m just over it and I feel pretty good.”
Gonzalez is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but he would most likely fill the team’s starting rotation void Tuesday against the Yankees.
“We have what, three more days until Tuesday?,” Gonzalez said. “So it’s going to heal even better. It will be 100 percent then.”
Gonzalez said Friday’s simulated game was a significant step forward not just physically, but also mentally.
“Mentally, you’ve got to be really strong about it and not worry about your finger and just go out there and throw your pitches,” he said.