Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez took being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk this weekend in stride, saying that he knows someone had to be sent down with the Orioles’ current roster crunch.
“We’re stacked,” Gonzalez said before Sunday’s game. “We have a good ballclub, and you’ve got to take that and be like, ‘Oh, well.’ You can’t do anything about it. Everyone’s pitching well. There’s got to be a guy who’s got to go down.”
Gonzalez was optioned before Saturday’s win to make room on the 25-man roster for right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who was activated from the disabled list to start the game.
“Yeah that’s what we discussed,” Gonzalez said of returning on Aug. 19. “I’m not worried about it.
“I understand the situation and what’s going on. We activated Ubaldo, and we needed guys in the bullpen just in case whatever happened. Obviously, I have to go down for some days and do what I’ve got to do down there and come back, hopefully, soon.”
Gonzalez stayed with the Orioles on Sunday to have his work day before reporting to Norfolk on Monday. He is scheduled to start on normal rest Tuesday in Buffalo, with the plan that he’d return to the major leagues when he fulfills his mandatory 10-day minor league window.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Gonzalez will be held to three to five innings Tuesday so he’s available to return earlier in case a player goes on the disabled list.
Showalter said it was important to let Gonzalez, who also was sent to the minor leagues last month to get work during the All-Star break, know that he’d be returning when he was able to come back to the major league club.
“It’s not just something where you call them in, say, ‘Hey you’re going to Norfolk, you might be back, see you later, don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your way out,’” Showalter said. “We don’t have that type of conversation, especially with a guy like Miguel, who has been so instrumental the last 2 1/2 years. They deserve more than that. And they deserve an end-game conversation. Where’s this going to end up? That’s only fair to them, and they’re going to get that from us.
“I think they understand that if we were 10 games under .500 and in last place, let’s face it … we wouldn’t be having that conversation. And Miguel knows it. If he didn’t have options, he wouldn’t be going anywhere. I think they understand why, but it doesn’t make it any more palatable. There’s a lot of issues there.”
It’s the second time in two weeks that the Orioles have had to send a major contributor down to the minors. They sent right-handed reliever Ryan Webb to Norfolk to make space for left-hander Andrew Miller when he was acquired at the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.