Showalter on Gonzalez

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is trying to use struggling left-hander Michael Gonzalez in less-pressurized situations, though it’s not an easy proposition.

Gonzalez has allowed runs in five of his six appearances, and home runs in back-to-back outings.

Gonzalez isn’t pitching as well as he’d like, of course, and “he’s not pitching as well as I want him to, too,” Showalter said.

“He’s still going to pitch. In the American League, you don’t have somebody down there who doesn’t pitch unless you are the Yankees with (Hector) Noesi. I think he’s gone 12 days without pitching. (Gonzalez) is going to pitch. As you’ve seen we’ve kind of picked our spots until Gonzo gets back as far as pitching with the lead or tied, but he had four days off and we need all our guys pitching well. And we’re not going to let our guys sit down there too long. Hopefully, as he starts pitching better, which we know he’s capable of, his meaningful role will increase. We’ll continue to monitor when he pitches until he gets things together.

“He was one pitch away (last night). We had two changeups that we gave up home runs on now. He had a pretty good outing otherwise. I thought he made some good pitches, but the margin of error is so small up here. I’m sure it’s been a challenge for us. I know he’s frustrated.”

Showalter noted that Gonzalez feels fine physically.

“There’s a certain mentality that you get into,” Showalter said. “People think you have X-amount of ability and you just throw it out there on the field, but it’s a mental game, too. He’s so close to having clean outings and the next thing you know, he’s thrown 20 or 30 pitches. That’s what bit him. That’s not him.”

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