Gonzalez will skip bullpen session

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez will delay his next bullpen session until Monday or Tuesday due to the back spasms that forced him out of yesterday's workout.

Gonzalez said his back tightened up while covering first base in a rundown drill. It feels much better today, but he won't throw as a precaution.

"I haven't been stretching as much as I was used to the second day out, but I feel pretty good now," he said. "I feel a lot better than I did yesterday."

Gonzalez said there's no rush to get back on a mound. No sense risking injury.

"I'm feeling good. I've been throwing all my pitches," he said.

"I've had this before. It will take a couple days for it to be 100 percent. I'm not worried about it."

Gonzalez's back tightened up about 40 minutes before a start last season, but he was able to pitch.

Alfredo Aceves and Johnny Monell reported to camp this morning. Monell's flights out of Philadelphia were cancelled due to the snowstorm. Aceves said weather also played a factor in his delayed arrival, though he had a direct flight from Phoenix.

Asked why he signed with the Orioles, Aceves paused and said, "To contribute to a championship. And it's not the Orioles from now on, in my view. It's Orioles. Not the Orioles. It's Orioles, from my point of view. It's a good feeling."

Aceves doesn't know whether he's competing for a spot in the rotation or bullpen.

"I just came here and I'm trying to have fun with my boys and get to know each other, get along together here in the field," he said. "At some point, we'll know our spot."

Aceves made a couple starts in the Caribbean Series. He's been throwing and isn't behind the other pitchers in camp.

"I feel good," he said.

Aceves will throw a bullpen session today, along with Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Edgmer Escalona, Steve Johnson, Mike Belfiore, Kevin Gausman, Liam Hendriks, Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Stinson, Mike Wright, Fabio Castillo, Eddie Gamboa and Chris Jones.

Monell tweeted his arrival into Sarasota last night. One of his previous flights was cancelled and another delayed, which caused him to miss a connection.

"Some things you can't control as far as the weather, but I'm here and that's what's important," he said. "I'm excited to get to work. It was kind of stressful, but at the end of the day you can't really do anything about that. You can't control that stuff. Getting stuck in Philly and getting to the airport, it's a headache, but you've just got to sit back and relax and do what you need to do, and things will handle themselves like they did. I'm here safely and healthy and getting ready to go to work."

Monell, whose contract was purchased from the Giants on Nov. 30, also played winter ball and is in good shape.

"I come into this camp basically ready to face live pitching, just ready to play," he said. "I've been doing that the last couple of years and it's been a good thing for me, just being able to go to winter ball and work on my game and come back and be ready for spring training. That's important to me. Other than that, just being able to come into your own and know what kind of player you are when you go to winter ball. You come back and you get a little more experience, and you're confidence is up.

"I love going to winter ball and getting ready. It does good things for me, just to stay in shape and train with my trainer there and get ready for the season. And help that team win.

"Now that I'm here with the Orioles, that's my intention. Come here ready and come ready to compete. There's jobs to be won. I'm here for that."

Monell and Steve Clevenger are battling to win the job as Matt Wieters' backup.

"You can't control those things," Monell said. "Just go about our business like professionals that we are and see what happens."

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