"It felt good to pick up the ball," said Gallardo. "It definitely feels free. It feels like my shoulder is not restricted. It's been a lot of shoulder work the past three weeks, so you could definitely tell the difference. Obviously it's just playing catch, but it's definitely a positive."
Gallardo is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA in four starts this season. He left his April 22 start in Kansas City after just two innings with discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
"It was tight," Gallardo said. "It wouldn't get loose; it just didn't feel right. I felt something different that I haven't felt throughout my career. One of the things that I noticed, too, is that when I had my arm up, it was kind of hard to keep it up in a higher position to drive the ball to home plate, which is one of the reasons the command wasn't there."
Provided that he feels no ill effects Sunday, Gallardo will throw from 90 feet Monday. He is then expected to throw from 120 feet, before throwing off a mound. Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn't prepared to publicly share the projected timeframe for a rehab assignment, although he was encouraged by Saturday's throwing session.
"That was a good step for him," Showalter said. "It wasn't just flipping; he threw with some intensity to it."
Gallardo, 30, signed a two-year, $22 million deal with the Orioles in February.
"I'm putting in all the work the past three weeks, so I'm excited," said Gallardo, who is on the DL for just the second time since 2010. "Today was the first step going out there to play catch and see how it feels, and it feels great."
Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.