SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles will have a simulated game on the back fields at Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday, with several veterans throwing. Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel and Miguel Gonzalez are among the starters who haven't appeared in an official game and will throw 20-25 pitches. Relievers Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day, who have also been what manager Buck Showalter calls "slow-played" so far this spring, will also throw.
"Just getting those guys acclimated to seeing hitters," pitching coach Rick Adair said of the schedule, which is slightly different with a longer camp due to the World Baseball Classic.
"If we had started on schedule, and we started on Day 1 with the rotation, there was a chance that somebody could have had eight starts down here. We're trying to stay away from that."
While most of those pitchers have been through the rigors of a regular Major League camp, Gonzalez wasn't signed until March and was in Minor League Spring Training when he joined the organization.
"There's two sides of [slowing Gonzalez down]," Showalter said. "One, we want to monitor his innings here, but at the same time, let him go through this. He will get plenty of innings over here."
Gonzalez, who didn't pitch in winter ball and declined an invitation to play for Team Mexico in the Classic, will be part of the Opening Day rotation, and his rise to success has been a model for Showalter to point to.
"We've used him as an example to a lot of the guys in this camp," Showalter said of the 28-year-old Gonzalez, who went 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 18 games (15 starts) his rookie year. "[Rick Peterson] and [Ron] Johnson are going to do it down in Twin Lakes. Here's an example of a guy who was on a Double-A field last year. I remember the conversation one time, we were going, 'What do we really got here? Do we have a spot for this guy?' And we had some people, it's part of the history now, step up and said they liked his command of the ball. We also had a scout, Fred Ferreira, who had seen him in Mexico and really liked him. So we extended the rope with him."