Alex Gonzalez talks about his medical condition

SARASOTA, Fla. - Infielder Alex Gonzalez is back in the Orioles' lineup today as the third baseman, and he intends to get as many at-bats as possible while competing for a utility job.

Gonzalez was shut down briefly and underwent an endoscopy after his pre-spring training physical revealed something in his blood work that drew the concerns of the Orioles' medical staff. Gonzalez, a 15-year major league veteran, discovered that he's anemic and is taking iron pills.

"Everything's fine," he said. "They were looking at the inside of my stomach to see if it's OK and there's nothing serious. I'm back in the lineup.

"They said I was losing blood. I have anemia. They made sure everything's OK on the inside of my stomach. They looked around and recommended iron pills to take and I feel good, I feel fine. Back to playing."

Gonzalez said he wasn't worried "because I was feeling fine."

"They asked me if I was tired, no energy and I told them I've been here for two months every day and I don't feel tired or that I don't have energy. But they had to make sure and I'm doing OK. I'll just take these pills and that's it," he said.

"They saw something in my blood, I was losing blood for some reason."

Gonzalez was more concerned about losing at-bats. He's 10-for-23 with a double, two homers and six RBIs in nine games.

"Yeah, but it's for my health," he said. "It's not an injury. It's nothing to worry (about). I think you have to take care of your health first. But now I feel good. I'm back to playing.

"I missed yesterday's game, but (the endoscopy) was early in the morning. I couldn't sleep. They made me lay down for a couple hours."

Gonzalez didn't exhibit any other signs of anemia.

"No, that's what he asked me," he said. "I was in Venezuela playing every day until the signing. I came here to spring training, getting up early and afternoon. Obviously, you can feel tired, but I don't feel like it's something where I don't want to come to the field. I think it's tiring for everybody. Everybody is kind of tired."

Gonzalez never experienced a drop in his iron level before this spring.

"Back in the day, I had something in my stomach called gastritis," he said. "I used to have that a little bit."

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