Showalter provides updates on Gonzalez, Schoop and more

Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez took a few steps toward his locker today and noticed that he was being followed by a pack of reporters wanting an update on his groin injury.

Gonzalez turned, smiled at us and said he'd know more about his condition on Thursday, but the soreness was lingering. He was in a rush to watch one of his teammates throw a bullpen session.

Judging by manager Buck Showalter's comments later in the day, Gonzalez won't be throwing the ball on Sunday. He's expected to be placed on the disabled list.

"Miguel's sore today," Showalter said. "We'll see. We want to wait through the day today. I would say his start on Sunday is definitely in jeopardy. That's a nice way of saying he isn't making it unless something really strange happens from the time he came in. So, it looks like we're going to need a starting pitcher for Sunday."

The starter won't be one of the current relievers.

"I think that's a little bit of a long shot," Showalter said.

As I wrote in my last entry, the Orioles are expected to choose between Triple-A Norfolk's Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson.

Jonathan-Schoop-Smiles-dugout.jpgShowalter sounds encouraged by second baseman Jonathan Schoop's progress at extended spring training. He receives daily reports from vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson.

"Jonathan had a good day again," Showalter said. "I talk to Brady every day concerning him and Wesley (Wright) and all those guys. Brady's going to bring him here and spend two or three days here."

Schoop is on the disabled list with a sprained right knee.

"There's some things Jonathan's not doing yet that he's going to have to do," Showalter said. "He slid today for the first time. He has yet to play in the field. Taking a lot of ground balls and doing a lot of things, but he has yet to play in the field.

"It's a pretty major injury he had, a pretty serious injury, and there are some things he's going to have to do the rest of his career. There are guys playing in the NFL with that same injury that never had surgery. It's going to be a challenge for him and the people around him. He's going to have to continue to do some things and strengthen some things to play at the level he's capable of."

Showalter said surgery isn't an option.

"Not at this point, it's not," he said. "We're going to take this all the way. We think we can get it done.

"Jonathan and Brady both said he's running straight ahead faster than he ever has. That's one of the byproducts of it. They're killing him down there. It's two a day, sometimes three a day. They're getting after it. There's some significance to the injury, but you can work around it and play at a capacity where nobody even notices it, but he's going to have to be real diligent about strengthening some other things."

Wesley Wright will go on an injury rehab assignment after Friday's extended spring training game. His fastball has been 88-89 mph and the Orioles would like his velocity to increase and the results to improve.

"Hoping that getting out underneath the lights and some people in the stands and whatever gets him even better than he is," Showalter said. "So that will start his clock ticking here."

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