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After sim game, Gonzalez remains on track to return

After sim game, Gonzalez remains on track to return play video for 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."

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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