The Orioles placed closer Mike Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. The move was made retroactive to April 10. Gonzalez couldn't get his shoulder loose on Tuesday and was unavailable. Something clearly wasn't right with the lefthander, who blew two of his three save chances and in the one he converted, he loaded the bases before getting the save. In two innings, he has allowed five hits and four walks. He is 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA.
Gonzalez has always had a history of injuries. He had a career-high 80 appearances last season with the Braves in his first full season after Tommy John surgery. Jim Johnson is the most likely fill-in. The Orioles don't have many options to close and Johnson had the job late last season converting 10 of 16 saves.
If Gonzalez is out for a long time, two speculative players for saves down the road are Kam Mickolio, who is currently in the minors, and Koji Uehara, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. Uehara had success as a closer in Japan. For now, Johnson is the pickup. Cla Meredith could be in the mix, too.