Gallardo throws first simulated game

After DL stint with right shoulder tendinitis, starter notes 'exciting' progress

Gallardo throws first simulated game

CLEVELAND -- Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo began the next step in his rehabilitation process on Saturday. The 30-year-old righty threw a simulated game at Progressive Field in the morning prior to the start of game two between Baltimore and Cleveland.

"He got a little tired at the end, which you would expect," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But his arm swing was good. He had a big smile on his face, and he felt good about it."

For Gallardo, it was his first simulated game since going on the 15-day disabled list on April 23 with right shoulder tendinitis. He had previously thrown a pair of bullpen sessions. At Progressive Field, he simulated three innings and threw 45 pitches.

"I made some pretty good pitches," Gallardo. "Threw to both sides of the plate and just moved the ball around and got that consistency, which was good. … The ball was coming out good. My off-speed pitches were sharp. It's pretty exciting."

Gallardo sustained the injury on April 22 against Kansas City and went on the disabled list for just the second time since 2010. Prior to his DL stint, Gallardo made four starts for the Orioles, in which he posted a 1-1 record with a 7.00 ERA. He has punched out nine batters and walked seven in 18 innings of work.

On Saturday, he admitted that he felt like his shoulder was as strong as it's been since Spring Training. Now it's just a matter of seeing how he recovers and if he is ready to take that next step.

"It feels very good, actually," Gallardo said. "Every pitch I throw, it feels like it has life. You can just feel the difference coming out of my hand. … It's just a matter of getting that pitch count up and see how I am able to recover."

Showalter said that if Gallardo recovers as expected, the next step in the rehabilitation process will be a rehab start for Class A Advanced affiliate Frederick Keys on Thursday. Gallardo would pitch the first game of the doubleheader, according to Showalter.

"If he feels well and his work day goes OK, he will pitch for Frederick on [June] 2nd," Showalter. "We will try not to get too far ahead of ourselves. That's about as far as I am going to go. But we have a plan, if everything goes well."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.