BALTIMORE -- The Orioles placed closer Michael Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday.
The team announced that Gonzalez has a strained left shoulder, and the move was made retroactive to Saturday. Right-hander Kam Mickolio was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday to take Gonzalez's roster spot.
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said before Wednesday's 9-1 loss to the Rays that Gonzalez had warmed up during Tuesday's 8-6 extra-innings loss but said he couldn't pitch. Trembley added after Wednesday's game that he doesn't know how long Gonzalez will be out, but that the team is going to see the results of some tests and decide where to go from here.
"I believe it's new, because when he came in before the game today, I asked him how long this has been going on," Trembley said. "And he told me, 'The last couple days.' "
Gonzalez had problems in his first three games. He lost ninth-inning leads twice and barely escaped when he did get a save in his other appearance.
The left-hander has an 0-2 record and an 18.00 ERA in three games.
The question now is who the Orioles will use as a closer. Jim Johnson is the team's setup man and closed for part of last season, but struggled for long stretches. Trembley said the club will consider Johnson for the role because he's done it before, but they haven't made any final decisions.
The 25-year-old Mickolio, who stands 6-foot-9, made 20 relief appearances for the Orioles over the previous two seasons. He allowed four hits, four walks and a run, while striking out five, in three innings for Norfolk. He was slowed the final week of Spring Training by a sore groin and was sent down in hopes that he would get healthy and get stretched out to go more than one inning.
Mickolio was praised this spring by Trembley for his offseason regimen and early bullpen sessions, even going as far as to say a spot in the bullpen was his to lose. But Mickolio's work didn't translate well into Grapefruit League games. He allowed two earned runs in 9 1/3 innings stretched over eight appearances, but a 7-to-10 walk-to-strikeout ratio was a glaring statistic.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor and Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.