BALTIMORE – Miguel Gonzalez threw both fastballs and breaking balls on flat ground before Tuesday’s game. He wore a bandage on his right thumb to protect him from a blister. On Wednesday, he’ll throw a side session, and if that goes well, Gonzalez will go on a rehab assignment.
Gonzalez is eligible to return from the disabled list on Sunday, but the Orioles are hoping he’ll be able to pitch a week from now when the team will again need its fifth starter.
“It looks pretty good, but we don’t want to rush anything,” Gonzalez said.
“I feel helpless because there are guys that are hitters that can play with a blister on. A pitcher can’t do much about it. You’ve just got to sit around and wait for it to heal.”
He’s aiming for a rehab start on Friday or Saturday so he can pitch against the New York Yankees, who are here next week.
Manager Buck Showalter said he hoped the rehab assignment was imminent.
“That could happen quick,” Showalter said. “It doesn’t have to be seven, eight innings. It could be two-five if we don’t want to push it too much. “
With both Wei-Yin Chen and Gonzalez out, the Orioles have two of their primary starters out. Showalter is obviously eager to have Gonzalez back.
“Until that gets all the way healed, the last thing we want to do is have him come back too quick and all of a sudden he’s back to square one with the problem,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Jake Arrieta, who was scratched from Sunday’s start at Norfolk with right shoulder soreness, threw 30 fastballs in a bullpen session on Tuesday. He be reevaluated on Wednesday.
-Brian Roberts has begun riding a stationery bike in his rehab assignment after last week’s surgery to repair his right hamstring.