Gonzalez threw a simulated game Friday. One step further: Tsuyoshi Wada, who hadn't thrown for the club since spring training last year, is on a rehab assignment.
Now, the club gets a shot in the arm in the person of a former National League All-Star: Jair Jurrjens.
The former Braves starter will join the Orioles this weekend for Saturday's start. He was signed to a minor league deal in the winter, and wasn't quite ready to join the rotation after a bumpy spring. He was also coming off an injury-riddled 2012.
If Jurrjens can hold down a starting spot, it would be a nice jolt for the Orioles, who, outside of Jason Hammel and Chris Tillman, are devoid of consistent starters.
There are bound to be more opportunities for the likes of Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton and Steve Johnson, but the Orioles' home-grown talents haven't proven themselves worthy of extended auditions.
Freddy Garcia has been a mixed bag for the Orioles, though he's likely to get a longer leash in the majors than some of the younger arms.
Jurrjens gets his shot this weekend. By June, it's possible that Gonzalez, Wada and Chen could all be healthy and ready to go, too.
The good news this season, versus those of the past, is the Orioles have tiers of options for the starting staff: the veterans, the unproven young guns and the top prospects.
Manager Buck Showalter, whose team came up short vs. the Rays Friday, losing 12-10, has some bullets to burn through before he gets to that last tier, when he'd call on Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy.
NEXT: Rays (Roberto Hernandez, 2-4, 4.43) at Orioles (Jair Jurrjens, 0-0, 0.00 ERA)
RHP Jair Jurrjens will make his major league debut Saturday against the Rays. The Orioles will make a corresponding move Saturday to free up a roster spot. Jurrjens went 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA for the Triple-A affiliate Norfolk, and did not allow any more than two runs in five of his eight starts. He allowed 44 hits with 36 strikeouts and 15 walks over 51 2/3 innings. "His command is there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He'll give us a chance to win."
RHP Miguel Gonzalez, who is dealing with a deep blister on his right thumb, threw a simulated game Friday at Oriole Park. He threw 25 pitches in the bullpen and then another 50-to-55 pitches in a three-inning game. He did not wear a bandage on the injured thumb because they are not allowed in a major league game. Gonzalez is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday and could pitch as early as Tuesday against the Yankees.
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May, pitched four innings in his first minor league rehab start for Triple-A affiliate Norfolk, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and two walks. He also allowed two homers in the fourth inning. Wada could return to the Orioles later this month.
RHP Jake Arrieta, who began the season in the Orioles' starting rotation, will start Saturday for Triple-A affiliate Norfolk after missing his previous outing with a sore shoulder. Arrieta was 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA but had 16 walks in 19 innings during his four starts for the Orioles before being sent down April 22.
2B Yamaico Navarro got his first start at second base Friday against the Rays in place of the struggling Ryan Flaherty, who is batting just .133 in 29 games this season. Flaherty could potentially be sent down to the minors when RHP Jair Jurrjens is activated for Saturday's game. Navarro batted .303 with eight doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs at Triple-A Norfolk before being called up.
C Taylor Teagarden had the splint removed from his dislocated left thumb. He was hit with a foul ball April 27 in Oakland. He could be ready to play in two-to-three weeks.
3B Wilson Betemet, who is on the 60-day DL with a Grade 2/3 PCL tear in his right knee, began jogging in a pool. He could be out at least another six weeks.
"I don't want say a loss is a loss. I felt like we we're going to make a run at them somewhere if we could keep them from scoring. That was our challenge tonight. Obviously not just with (starter Jason Hammel) Hamm, but we dug ourselves a pretty big hole."—Manager Buck Showalter, after the Orioles fell behind 12-4 to the Rays Friday heading into the eighth inning. They scored six times to cut into the margin but wound up losing 12-10.
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (right thumb blister) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He threw 35 pitches May 15, including seven without a bandage. He pitched in a simulated game at Camden Yards May 17.
RHP Jake Arrieta (right shoulder strain) threw a bullpen session May 15 and did not feel any discomfort. He will start May 18 for Triple-A affiliate Norfolk.
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (left elbow surgery in May 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22 and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list April 4. Wada threw three innings in an extended spring training game in Sarasota, Fla., on April 18 and four innings April 23. He's working on building up innings and expanding the number of pitches he throws per outing. He pitched three innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Norfolk May 16.
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (strained right oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 13.
2B Brian Roberts (ruptured tendon in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list April 5. He had surgery May 9 in Dallas and will be out six weeks.
C Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list April 28. He was examined by a hand specialist on April 30. He had the splint removed May 17. He could be ready to play in two-to-three weeks.
DH Wilson Betemit (torn posterior cruciate ligament in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 12. He began jogging in a pool May 17. He could be out at least another six weeks.
RHP Jason Hammel
RHP Chris Tillman
RHP Freddy Garcia
RHP Jim Johnson (closer)
RHP Pedro Strop
RHP Darren O'Day
LHP Brian Matusz
LHP Troy Patton
RHP Tommy Hunter
LHP T.J. McFarland
RHP Alex Burnett
1B Chris Davis
2B Alexi Casilla
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Manny Machado
INF Yamaico Navarro
INF/OF Ryan Flaherty
LF Nate McLouth
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
DH Nolan Reimold
OF Chris Dickerson
OF/1B Steve Pearce