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Orioles RHP Yovani Gallardo to begin throwing program on Saturday

Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to resume throwing on Saturday, the first time he will throw a baseball since going on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis on April 23.

Gallardo will begin throwing with a light session of playing catch. That will start a throwing program that will progress to long toss then throwing off a half-mound and then a full mound before going on a minor league rehab assignment, if all goes well.

Since going on the disabled list, Gallardo has been doing exercises to build strength in his shoulder. He will do two more of those sessions, on Tuesday and Thursday, before throwing on Saturday.

For Gallardo -- who has never been on the DL for an arm-related injury and hasn’t been on the DL at all since 2010 -- it’s a major step in his recovery.

“Anytime you’re on the DL, the big thing is that you just have to be patient,” Gallardo said. “Once you get through that first little step, and for me it was getting the strength back in my shoulder, I think everything else will hopefully move pretty quickly. Once I start throwing, picking up the ball and it’ll go by pretty quickly.”

Gallardo said that he’s seen marked improvement in the strength of his shoulder since beginning the exercises and said he plans to continue them once he returns to the rotation.  

“I definitely feel stronger, just my arm in general,” Gallardo said. “You can definitely tell, just by the first day that I was doing those exercises to the way I’m doing them now. I’m doing them the proper way now ... just able to control it. I’m stable in my shoulders. My shoulder stays in the same spot. You know, when your muscles are weak, you’re shaking and just weak.

"I’ve really noticed a big difference, just from doing those exercises and adding weight. You can tell when you’re adding weight and doing it the proper way, it’s a sign you’re getting that strength back.”

Jones getting defensive

Despite the fact that Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has struggled at the plate this season, his defense hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Jones entered Tuesday hitting just .200/.269/.274 with just one homer over 26 games. He’s seen his batting average drop 25 points since the beginning of the month, going just 3-for-24 over his last six games.

But Jones has still played the trademark defense that has made him one of the game’s top center fielders and a four-time Gold Glove winner.

“That’s another example that good players and good veterans set,” Showalter said. “... Adam takes a lot of pride in it. I know one of our scouts who was in the stands the other day remarked to me what great jumps he was getting. I tell you what people miss. In day games, it’s hard to see the ball. First step is really hard. … You have to read swings.”

Jones’ range factor per game, a statistic that gauges defensive ability based on the number of outs a player is involved in, is 2.62, which is fourth best among American League outfielders.

McGough outrighted to Norfolk

Minor league reliever Scott McGough, who was designated for assignment to make 40-man roster space for infielder Paul Janish on Saturday, cleared waivers and was outrighted back to Triple-A Norfolk.

The 26-year-old McGough pitched to a 12.71 ERA in six relief appearances at Norfolk, allowing eight runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings.
McGough was claimed off waivers from the Marlins in mid-April.

Honoring 1966 champs

The Orioles will hold a pregame ceremony to honor the 1966 World Series championship team before the team’s game against the Angels on July 8. To mark the 50th anniversary of the franchise’s first title team, the club will welcome back 16 members of the 1966 club. Players expected to attend are Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Luis Aparicio, Davey Johnson, Andy Etchebarren, Eddie Fisher, Dick Hall, Larry Haney, Bill Hunter, Bob Johnson, John Miller, Tom Phoebus, Vic Roznovsky, Russ Snyder and Eddie Watt. The Orioles will wear 1966 throwback uniforms and fans will received a 1966 50th-anniversary themed Orioles T-shirt. There will also be fireworks after the game.

Around the horn

The Twins had 1B Joe Mauer in the leadoff spot for Monday’s postponed game. It would’ve been the first time in his big league career spanning 1,197 starts in the majors that Mauer batted leadoff. Showalter said it didn’t surprise him to see Mauer, who entered Monday leading the American League AL with a .420 on-base percentage, hitting atop the batting order. “Sometimes you take your best guy and see how many at-bats you can get for him,” Showalter said. “I think batting order is really overrated.” … The Orioles haven’t won a series at Target Field since 2013. … Tuesday’s Today’s Orioles scheduled starter, RHP Kevin Gausman, is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in three career starts against the Twins. ... … The Orioles will hold a Father’s Day catch on the field before the June 19 home game against the Blue Jays. Fans can purchase one of two ticket packages — ranging from $200 to $250 — for the Father’s Day game that include two tickets to the game and a 25-minute pregame session of catch on the field at Oriole Park. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Orioles Charitable Foundation.

eencina@baltsun.com

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