Having never been on the disabled list in his career, Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is finding it's almost as painful being away from the team as it is dealing with hamate bone surgery.
"It [stunk]," said Markakis, who was in the clubhouse Friday. "I was home. I didn't want to go on the road trip, so I could get back here and benefit, you know, lifting weights-wise and staying on top of things. But it was tough watching your team on TV. You want to be there. And it was tough, because they played such a good series [in Boston]. It was fun to watch, but it's more fun to be a part of it."
Markakis was in the clubhouse briefly sporting a beard he is not allowed to have while on the active roster. He also showed the bandage on his right wrist and palm that was concealing the stitches from the June 1 surgery.
"The mobility in my hand is very good, it's just the stitches are a pain in the butt," he said.
If all goes well, Markakis said he'll get the stitches removed Monday. The club is sticking with the original timetable of Markakis returning in roughly a month. Some players come back in three weeks from the surgery; others have taken up to six weeks.
One thing is for sure, Markakis said. He's not staying at home any more with the Orioles on the road.
"I think I am going to go on every road trip from here on out," he said. "Even if I can't play."
Gonzalez making an impression
After toiling in the minors and the Mexican League, Miguel Gonzalez has had quite a start to his big-league career. The 28-year-old reliever has allowed just two runs in 7 1/3 innings, including a four-inning, one-run stint Thursday in Boston that tied for the longest relief outing of the year for the Orioles.
"It was great. It was fun, being out there pitching against Boston," said Gonzalez, who spent the last two seasons in the Red Sox organization before the Orioles signed him as a minor-league free agent in February. "Obviously, [the Red Sox] have a great team, a couple guys I have played with, so it was great to be out there."
Possessing a low-90s fastball and two breaking balls he usually can throw for strikes, Gonzalez excelled atTriple-A, striking out 36 batters in 30 innings while posting a 1.50 ERA. He pitched in 11 games with the Tides, including three starts, and was named the organization's Pitcher of the Month for May. The Orioles are intrigued about whether he can survive in a big-league rotation.
"I don't know. I'd love to tell you exactly, I'm not that smart," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He was just getting into that progression in Norfolk when we took him because it fell on his day and we needed that length [in relief], so I think that's still something we're looking at."
Gonzalez was a candidate to make Saturday's spot start, but he was needed Thursday when Brian Matusz failed to get an out in the third inning. Gonzalez, who was signed out of Mexico by the Anaheim Angels in 2004, said he doesn't care how he's being used at this point.
"Whatever they tell me to do I'm going to do. Obviously, I like doing both, but I wouldn't mind starting," Gonzalez said. "It all depends on what kind of plans they have for me. … I'm going to keep having fun while I am here."
Because he can't be used for several days after the four-inning outing, and because the Orioles are expected to call up Tommy Hunter from Norfolk to pitch Saturday, Gonzalez could be sent back to the minors to start again — although there are other candidates for demotion, including Friday's starter Jake Arrieta.
"We'll see," Showalter said. "Obviously we've got to make some room if we make a move for a starter [Saturday]."
Saturday's starter is …
Showalter hadn't named his starter for Saturday afternoon's game against the Philadelphia Phillies as of early Friday evening, but when Dana Eveland entered in relief in the fifth, it all but guaranteed Hunter would be called up fromTriple-A Norfolk.
Hunter is 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA in 10 starts for the Orioles this year and allowed one run in a seven-inning start for the Tides. Eveland and Gonzalez had been the other primary candidates for the spot.
Three of the four most recent Orioles managers were at Camden Yards on Friday. Showalter was obviously in the Orioles dugout, while Juan Samuel (third base) and Sam Perlozzo (first base) were coaching for the Phillies. Perlozzo joked before first pitch that fans may be booing from both sides of the stadium.
Former Oriole Ty Wigginton and ex-Oriole farmhand Mike Fontenot, who was part of the Sammy Sosa trade with the Chicago Cubs in 2005, are also with the Phillies.
Bundy goes five for Frederick
Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy made his third start for High-A Frederick on Friday. He allowed two earned runs on four hits, a career-high three walks, one homer and one wild pitch. He struck out five on the road against Lynchburg, the Atlanta Braves affiliate.