Baltimore Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez on the rebound

Courtesy of Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports /

MIguel Gonzalez turned in his best outing of the spring last night for the Baltimore Orioles against New York.

Miguel Gonzalez is trying to let the Baltimore Orioles and their fans know that their fears about his 2016 season are unfounded. And he certainly took a step towards doing that last night, with his best outing of the spring – in Tampa vs. the NYY. Gonzalez’s line: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

Courtesy of Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s play devil’s advocate for just a moment; Gonzalez only pitched four innings. However he was facing the normal New York lineup for the most part, and save for a couple of moments in the second inning he shut them down. The Birds took the lead early on an RBI-double by Manny Machado, and a subsequnt three-run homer off the bat of Mark Trumbo in the first inning. And they never really looked back.

New York would notch their runs in the second on a two-RBI single by Gregorious. However the Birds and Gonzalez wouldn’t be denied on this night. Machado and Trumbo would combine in the fourth to drive in three runs between the two of them, and Machado would also add an RBI-single in the sixth. The O’s would add some additional runs in the later innings, including an RBI-double off of Flaherty’s bat.

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  • However to me, the story of the night was Miguel Gonzalez. After struggling mightily thus far in the spring (especially his previous start), he really seemed to right himself last night. I did find it interesting that he was pulled after four innings, however I suspect he reached his pitch count for the night. However this is the point in spring training where starters are beginning to be stretched out just a bit.

    It was also interesting to see a few additional starters sprinkle into the lineup last night, in a road contest. As I alluded with regard to starting pitchers above, we’ve kind of turned a symbolic corner in terms of spring training. The guys who will be getting the reps in the regular season are starting to get more work in, which means that sometimes the likes of Machado or Trumbo are finding gray pants in their lockers on game days.

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    Joey Rickard has also had a great spring, going 1-for-3 in last night’s game. He’s hitting .341 in Florida Grapefruit League play. Rickard of course is a Rule 5 pick from Tampa, aquired by the Orioles during the winter meetings back in December. He will need to be on the 25-man roster in some manner all season long, or he would be given back to Tampa. And to this point he’s made it very difficult for the O’s to cut him. 

    The O’s will head to Port Charlotte this afternoon for a game against Tampa, who of course will return the favor on Sunday in Sarasota. Yovani Gallardo will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Chris Archer. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.