Checking in with another struggling O’s reliever

Kevin Gregg is not the only Orioles reliever looking to put up better numbers right now.

Lefty Michael Gonzalez, who spent time on the DL with a strained left shoulder last year, said he is healthy and throwing fine right now. Still, he has been scored upon in four of his five outings and is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA through five appearances.

“I’m definitely not getting the results that I want but I feel really good. I am positive and upbeat about that.

“Health-wise, my arm feels great. It’s a click away, you know, I always take it as your one fastball away and I’m zoned in and there’s no one taking me out of that focus,” he said.

Gonzalez allowed three runs in just 1 2/3 innings over his past two appearances. Is it tough for a reliever to be sitting on a bad outing, waiting for the next chance?

“I don’t feel that way,” he said. “After I go out there, if I don’t do well, it’s over when I go home. I have to forget about it because the next day I will be in the same situation and I have to get it done. It’s not going to help anything by worrying about it.”

Gonzalez pitched well last year when he came off the DL, with an ERA of 1.76 in his first 18 games after being activated and with an ERA of 2.78 after the 2010 All-Star break.

Still, he heard some boo birds last season and knows they will be coming again if he struggles.

“Last year was tough, I’d never gotten that before. But fans will boo you when you are doing bad. I understand that. When I am healthy, I’ll pitch well. Just get the reps and here we go.”

Gonzalez said his fastball velocity is fine right now and he expects even more juice from his heater as the season and summer goes on.

“The other day I was 93, 94, 95. That’s really good in that it’s April. Once May and June start coming, it will be consistently to the mid’s (90’s) the way I used to throw. The shoulder hasn’t felt as good as it feels now. I’m sure it’s going to get there,” Gonzalez said.

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