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After sim game, Gonzalez remains on track to return

After sim game, Gonzalez remains on track to return

CHICAGO -- Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez threw a five-inning simulated game, complete with a local umpire, during Double-A Bowie's off-day on Monday, and he remains on track to rejoin the team later in the week.

"[He threw] 75 pitches," manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who could be an option to start this weekend against the Cubs or be part of the bullpen. "Did a lot of offensive work, too. It was a good workday for him; got a lot done. He said he's ready to do what we might need."

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Gonzalez faced several hitters on Monday; his next step is undetermined, though Showalter said he could throw a side session with Bowie depending on the Orioles' pitching needs over the next few days.

"If it looks like we are going to have a need in the bullpen, he probably wouldn't [take his side day]," Showalter said. "But if we get to that point where it looks like we are going to be able to get through the off-day without a need, then he probably would take it there."

Gonzalez, who was optioned to clear a roster spot for Ubaldo Jimenez, recorded a 3.80 ERA in 20 games (19 starts). Showalter reiterated on Monday that he has not made a decision regarding Jimenez's future in the rotation.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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