03/03/2013 5:49 PM ET
O's Gonzalez not resting on laurels in MLB camp
Hurler maintains competitive attitude after battling for roster spot a year ago
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla.-- A year ago, Miguel Gonzalez -- who had just signed with the organization after pitching in winter ball -- was a 27-year-old right-hander in Orioles' Minor League camp. On Sunday afternoon, Gonzalez finally made his first appearance in a Spring Training game as a big league player, coming off a 2012 season in which he was one of baseball's biggest surprises, going 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA.
"That was probably in 2007, the last time I threw in a big league Spring Training game," said Gonzalez, then with the Angels, who would come over an extra Minor League player to fill innings. "So, it was fun to go out there and perform."
Gonzalez picked up right where he ended last season, breezing through two scoreless innings against the Phillies and allowing just one baseunner -- a walk to Cesar Hernandez, who was erased by catcher Matt Wieters while trying to steal second.
Gonzalez is penciled in to be one of the Orioles' starting pitchers this season, but it doesn't mean he's OK coasting through camp.
"I think it's got a lot more to do with what he's been through to get here; he's letting it rip," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's not taking one pitch for granted. Out there today, he gives up a two-out routine fly to right [field] and second base is vacated, and instead of kind of walking off the field, he ran to second base in case something happened. Those are the kind of things I notice.
"This guy, he's not assuming anything. You've been where he is. Miguel is trying to make the club."
Gonzalez used mostly fastballs on Sunday, with the unusually cold and windy temperatures limiting the availability of his split-finger pitch, and he was pleased afterward with how he felt. Gonzalez spent the offseason working out in California with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson -- along with several teammates -- and he looks noticeably stronger this spring. The right-hander never had a specific offseason regimen as he bounced around organizations and dealt with several injuries, and he hadn't lifted weights since college.
"He smiles easily, he's engaging, but he's a competitive guy," Showalter said of Gonzalez, who has an unflappable mound demeanor. "You see him bounce off the mound on a bunt. He competes now. And when he doesn't do what he's capable of doing, he isn't a happy guy. He can, I wouldn't say 'brood,' but he can convey feelings of unhappiness with himself."
Markakis scratched from O's lineup with neck spasms
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis was not in Sunday's starting lineup due to neck spasms that he reported to the team's complex with in the morning.
Manager Buck Showalter said it's nothing serious. Markakis was examined for structural damage and none was found -- although if it were the regular season, Showalter would still err on the side of caution and probably sit Markakis. The issue is believed to have stemmed from just sleeping on his neck a little funny.
The team's first off-day this spring is on Monday, and with Tuesday's game being in Dunedin, Fla., it's likely Markakis won't play again until Wednesday's home exhibition against Team Spain.
O's give Bundy time to rest groin spasm
SARASOTA, Fla.-- Right-hander Dylan Bundy was originally scheduled to pitch in Sunday's Orioles game, but according to manager Buck Showalter, he had a groin spasm and was pushed back to be safe.
Bundy will now take a workday on Tuesday, when he will take will take part in biomechanical analysis testing, following the team's off-day on Monday.
The organization's top pitching prospect, Bundy last pitched on Wednesday, and he has appeared in two games, throwing three scoreless innings.
O's to utilize biomechanical testing again this spring
SARASOTA, Fla. -- For the second consecutive spring, the Orioles will take part in biomechanical analysis testing, with the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) mapping some of the organization's pitchers using wires.
Manager Buck Showalter said some of the pitchers who underwent the testing last year will be retested depending on the results and whether the organization felt they had a good enough baseline already.
"It's good that it's cool, because we had some trouble with the magnets slipping off with the sweat and everything [last spring]," Showalter said. "They are a lot more prepared, organized with it this year. They are going to work out of the auxiliary locker room, and then they just go right to the [covered batting] cages. Should take about 15 minutes."
The Minor League pitchers will undergo the testing -- which was brought in by director of pitching development Rick Peterson -- on Monday, with the big leaguers going the following three days depending on their work day schedule.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.