Random notes, quotes and thoughts

Pitcher Miguel Gonzalez and his wife are expecting their second child in June.

It's never too soon to start wondering about his paternity leave and whether he could miss a key start. Go ahead and check the schedule.

Gonzalez, in a phone interview yesterday on WBAL Radio's "Hot Stove Baseball" show, said his goal in 2013 is to pitch 200 innings. He totaled 105 1/3 with the Orioles last season, and another 44 2/3 with Triple-A Norfolk.

He also pitched in Mexico over the winter, which is why Orioles manager Buck Showalter began to monitor the right-hander's innings as the season progressed.

Gonzalez has been playing catch with Zach Britton, who lives about 15 minutes from his house, and they make the 20-minute drive to work out with special assistant Brady Anderson.

"That's been helping me out," Gonzalez said. "I feel a little bit stronger, and hopefully I can take that into spring training."

You most likely remember that left fielder Nate McLouth made the catch to end the wild card game in Texas and send the Orioles to the American League Division Series.

Do you know what he did with the ball?

"I put it in my back pocket because I had to do a couple interviews on the field before I could go in for the champagne celebration," McLouth said yesterday during the same WBAL Radio show. "I gave it to Buck afterward. I made sure it didn't get too wet. And I told him I appreciated him giving me the opportunity and things like that. That ball definitely belonged to him."

McLouth was reminded how center fielder Adam Jones posted a lineup outside the clubhouse one afternoon that listed 10 media members instead of players. For the record, I was catching and batting cleanup.

"Sometimes, I think a lineup full of reporters would be better than us," McLouth quipped. "Maybe we should try it sometime."

I don't recommend it.

Former shortstop Mike Bordick will return to the MASN booth this year while also continuing to offer infield instruction on the major and minor league levels and occasionally throw batting practice. He's also expected to serve as a spring training instructor.

Bordick wondered how many ground balls Manny Machado will take at shortstop this spring. Good question.

If J.J. Hardy suffered an injury, would Machado slide over to shortstop or stay at third base?

I mentioned how Hardy won't attend FanFest because of a family commitment. His sister is getting married. I noticed over the weekend that pitcher Wei-Yin Chen also won't attend.

Nothing gets past me.

I'm still curious about the timing of the Orioles' decision to outright Steve Pearce to Norfolk on Dec. 21 and open a spot on their 40-man roster. Not a big deal, but it took two weeks to fill it, with the Orioles claiming catcher Luis Martinez off waivers from the Rangers on Friday.

Did something else fall through, or did they just want to push Pearce through waivers shortly before Christmas?

The Orioles have four catchers on their 40-man roster, which is now full. A reminder that it doesn't have to stay that way. And if they need another opening, catcher Luis Exposito is on the bubble.

That also could explain the decision to claim Martinez.

Former Orioles minor league outfielder Jai Miller reportedly has enrolled at the University of Alabama and will attempt to play football for head coach Nick Saban next season. You can read more about it here.

Miller signed a letter of intent to play football at Stanford, but he chose baseball after the Marlins selected him in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Upon further review, the Alabama native should have stuck with football.

It's never too late.

Miller likely would play safety for Alabama, which is seeking its third national championship in four years. He's a career .235/.288/.368 hitter in 28 games over parts of three major league seasons with the Marlins, Royals and Athletics. The Orioles purchased his contract from the A's on Jan. 3, 2012 and he batted a combined .196/.299/.365 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs in 97 games with Norfolk and Double-A Bowie after failing to make the club as a fourth outfielder in spring training.

Roll Tide.

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