He is expected to bump his pitch count from the 59 he threw yesterday at Single-A Frederick up to 75-80, and that could set him up to return to the Orioles rotation after that.
After allowing some well-placed singles, and giving up seven hits and three runs yesterday, Gallardo was asked if his right shoulder feels fine today. He has been on the disabled list since April 23 with right shoulder tendinitis.
“I do feel fine,” Gallardo said. “I feel great today. Little soreness, which is expected. Nothing crazy, nothing different than any normal soreness. It is more, not my side, but my lat, which is good sign. It means I’m getting full extension to release the ball. Just like I said, I feel good today. Actually really a lot better than I thought I would feel, so I’m excited.
“I know it was high-A, but you are still competing against another team. You have to make adjustments, make plays, cover first, all those kinds of things. It was nice to work on the things I need to work on.”
Gallardo was asked if he feels it is important to face a higher level of competition at the Triple-A level.
“Might help a little, but the most important thing is that pitch count,” he said. “If I get results, I get results. But if not, doesn’t matter. I am trying to do what I have to do to prepare to pitch at this level. I’m still going out to work on what I need to.
“You know Triple-A, there are guys that have been in the big leagues before. So it is better competition and maybe gives a better idea of where your stuff is at.”
Asked yet again today about his velocity, Gallardo had the same answer as he did Thursday. He is not concerned about it. He touched 90 on a scout’s radar gun in the first inning at Harry Grove Stadium which also showed a lot of 87 and 88s in that inning, according to the scout’s gun.
“I said yesterday, since I started throwing again, I can actually feel the ball coming out of my hand good,” Gallardo said. “With that life and late break on the slider and curveball. My sinker doesn’t stay flat without finish in the zone. That shows another reason why my lat is a little sore: getting that full extension and finishing off my pitches. That is where you get the life on the baseball and the good stuff through the zone. I was excited. I don’t know what the velocity was yesterday, but I’m not worried about it. I want to see that good life and late break. A good sign to keep the ball off the barrel (of the bat).”
Meanwhile, the newest Orioles pitcher in the clubhouse is veteran lefty reliever Brian Duensing. He made his O’s debut last night and gave up two runs and four hits in the ninth inning of the 12-7 win over Boston. The 33-year-old Duensing pitched seven seasons for the Minnesota Twins, going 41-37 with a 4.13 ERA. He signed with Kansas City and was pitching for their Triple-A team before recently opting out of his contract. Signed by the Orioles, he pitched three scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk and then was added to the Orioles roster yesterday.
“It happened quick,” Duensing said of his call-up. “I got told about 1:30 in the morning yesterday I got called up. And I got here into Baltimore about 1 o’clock or so (yesterday). In my head, I had things going differently in the game. But I’m really happy to be here and hope to help out and take a run at this thing.
“I signed with Kansas City in the offseason and things didn’t work out there, so I opted out there. About eight days after the opt out, Baltimore said they had a little bit of a need. So I signed here and thought it was a good fit. Played in Norfolk for about seven or eight days and was fortunate enough to get the call-up. It was amazing how fast it can all change.”
After the opt out and with changing teams, he almost feels like he was traded to the Orioles.
“Yeah, I feel like the new kid at school,” Duensing said. “I’m trying to meet new friends and learn all the teachers’ names. I mean, so far everyone here is very welcoming. They seem like good dudes and like to have a lot of fun. So I’m all for that. Hopefully everything works out and I fit in.”