Tag Archive | "T.J McFarland"

Hardy out of Tuesday’s lineup, four more added to Orioles’ expanded roster

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Hardy out of Tuesday’s lineup, four more added to Orioles’ expanded roster

Posted on 02 September 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Orioles began a three-game interleague series with the Cincinnati Reds without the starting shortstop in the starting lineup Tuesday.

After leaving Monday’s loss to the Minnesota Twins with back spasms, J.J. Hardy was on the bench as manager Buck Showalter wanted to give the veteran infielder an extra day to rest. Hardy told reporters following Monday’s game that the spasm did not cause his back to lock up like the one in April that forced him to miss five games.

Infielder Ryan Flaherty was starting at shortstop in place of Hardy against the Reds.

The Orioles continued their roster expansion Tuesday by recalling pitchers T.J. McFarland and Ryan Webb and catcher Steve Clevenger and selecting the contract of Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Quintin Berry. Showalter told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game that he doesn’t anticipate adding any other players unless injuries dictate a need.

While McFarland and Clevenger were recently on the roster before temporarily being optioned, Webb is making his return to the Orioles bullpen for the first time since being optioned on Aug. 1. The acquisition of left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller at the non-waiver trade deadline pushed Webb to the minor leagues where he posted a 4.76 ERA in 11 1/3 innings for the Tides. In 42 2/3 innings for the Orioles this season, the 28-year-old has pitched to a 3.80 ERA.

Berry will provide the Orioles another speedy option off the bench as he batted .285 with 25 stolen bases in 31 attempts in 112 games for Norfolk this season. Including the postseason, Berry is 29-for-29 stealing bases in his major league career, which includes stops in Detroit and Boston.

In order to make room for Berry on the 40-man roster, the Orioles placed third baseman Manny Machado on the 60-day disabled list. The 22-year-old Gold Glove winner underwent season-ending knee surgery last week.

In other injury-related news, first baseman and outfielder Steve Pearce continues to improve after suffering an abdominal strain last week. The Orioles and Pearce are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.

After tweaking his leg on his final pitch against the Twins on Monday afternoon, Miller is day to day and may have just experienced a cramp, according to Showalter.

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New Orioles outfielder De Aza reports, McFarland temporarily optioned

Posted on 31 August 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Sunday that OF ALEJANDRO DE AZA, acquired Saturday night, will report to the team today. To make room on the 25-man roster, LHP T.J. McFARLAND has been optioned to Short-Season Class-A Aberdeen.

De Aza, 30, batted .243/.309/.354 (96-395) with five home runs, 31 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 122 games for the White Sox in 2014. He will wear uniform #12.

McFarland, 25, was 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA (52.1IP, 18ER) in 30 games (one start) for the Orioles.

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O’s recall Guilmet, place McFarland on bereavement list

Posted on 28 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Orioles recall RHP Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Norfolk; place LHP T.J. McFarland on bereavement list

The Orioles today announced that they have recalled RHP PRESTON GUILMET from Triple-A Norfolk and placed LHP T.J. McFARLAND on the bereavement list.

Guilmet, 27, has posted a 5.23 ERA (10.1IP, 6ER) in 10 games with the Orioles this season, striking out 12 and walking two.

McFarland, 25, has gone 4-2 with a 3.07 ERA (41.0IP, 14ER) in 23 games (one start) for the Orioles this season.

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Orioles option McFarland to Norfolk after Sunday’s loss

Posted on 11 May 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced after Sunday’s game that they have optioned left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk.

McFarland, 24, has posted a 3.86 ERA (7.0IP, 3ER) in three appearances for the Orioles, including a 3.0 inning appearance this afternoon in which he allowed two earned runs.

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Orioles set to recall Weeks while waiting on Davis’ status

Posted on 26 April 2014 by Luke Jones

As they hold their breath over the status of injured first baseman Chris Davis, the Orioles will reportedly recall infielder Jemile Weeks to fill the roster spot vacated by left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk Friday night.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Baltimore will promote Weeks and return to a 12-man pitching staff while continuing to wait on the health of Davis, who left Friday night’s game with a strained left oblique. Manager Buck Showalter and Davis expressed optimism that the injury may not be serious, but oblique strains typically take some time to fully heal.

Acquired from the Oakland Athletics in the Jim Johnson trade over the winter, Weeks is hitting .296 with four doubles, three triples, and seven runs batted in for the Tides this year.

While Weeks provides extra infield depth, the Orioles must still sort out the first base position in Davis’ absence after designating reserve outfielder and first baseman Steve Pearce for assignment earlier this week. Ryan Flaherty moved to first base in Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals, but Showalter wouldn’t commit to the .179-hitting Flaherty handling that spot when asked about the possibility after the game.

Right fielder Nick Markakis has played first base in the major leagues, but is three career games enough to make Showalter comfortable with a position change that would also potentially weaken the outfield defense?

Norfolk first baseman Brett Wallace is currently hitting .167 in 72 at-bats at Triple A, so he wouldn’t appear to be a viable option.

Would executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette even entertain the possibility of promoting Double-A Bowie first baseman Christian Walker, who is off to a hot start with a .315 average, four home runs, and 18 runs batted in for the Baysox?

Or, will the Orioles get lucky and Davis only ends up missing a couple games?

Regardless of what happens, it’s an uneasy feeling for the Orioles as they were closer than ever to getting their full infield back with third baseman Manny Machado collecting two doubles and a triple Friday night to begin his minor league rehab assignment at Single-A Frederick.

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Orioles option McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk following Friday’s loss

Posted on 26 April 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

Following Friday’s game, the Orioles announced that they have optioned left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk.

McFarland, 24, posted a 2.25 ERA (4.0IP, 1ER) in two appearances with the Orioles since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on April 22. The southpaw worked 3.0 innings in relief tonight, allowing one run on five hits.

A corresponding move will be announced Saturday.

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Orioles recall McFarland, designate Pearce for assignment

Posted on 22 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Needing an extra arm in the bullpen after a taxing four-game series at Fenway Park, the Orioles recalled left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland prior to the start of a series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.

To make room for McFarland on the 25-man roster, outfielder Steve Pearce was designated for assignment.

A former Rule 5 selection who spent the entire 2013 season on the Orioles’ active roster, McFarland was scratched from his scheduled start with Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday and traveled to Toronto to give manager Buck Showalter more length in the bullpen after lefties Zach Britton and Brian Matusz both pitched on Sunday and Monday. The move temporarily gives the Orioles a 13-man pitching staff and a short bench with shortstop J.J. Hardy still sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Even if Hardy continues to avoid the 15-day disabled list, the Orioles could elect to replace McFarland in the next day or two with an extra infielder such as Jemile Weeks to improve their bench depth.

McFarland has a 1.84 earned run average in three starts covering 14 2/3 innings for the Tides this season. He was 4-1 with a 4.22 ERA in 38 appearances spanning 74 2/3 innings last season.

The 31-year-old Pearce was out of options and had been used sparingly this season, appearing in only three games and going 1-for-7.

 

 

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Orioles recall Jurrjens, designate Ishikawa for assignment

Posted on 29 June 2013 by Luke Jones

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BALTIMORE — Needing a long reliever after using both T.J. McFarland and Kevin Gausman in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Yankees, the Orioles have recalled right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens and designated first baseman Travis Ishikawa for assignment.

Jurrjens will be available to pitch out of the bullpen for at least Saturday and possibly Sunday as manager Buck Showalter wants to stay away from McFarland and Gausman through the weekend. The Orioles are electing to keep Gausman on the 25-man roster as an option to make a start on the road trip this coming week should Wei-Yin Chen’s rehab start for Double-A Bowie not go well enough to feel confident you can activate him for his next start.

Ishikawa’s standing on the roster was always considered short-lived since his only true position is first base and he provides limited offense in backing up a man many consider to be the American League MVP to this point in the season in Chris Davis. The Orioles now have 10 days to trade Ishikawa or he must be put on waivers. Should he not be claimed, Ishikawa would then have the choice to accept an outright assignment to Norfolk or to become a free agent.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has been seeking a trade partner for Ishikawa over the last few weeks when it was apparent he intended to invoke his opt-out clause from his minor-league deal. The Orioles’ fear is the Yankees would claim Ishikawa to provide more help to their first base situation after it was learned that Mark Teixeira would miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury.

The 29-year-old Ishikawa went 2-for-17 in six games for the Orioles after hitting .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in Norfolk.

“We’d like to have Travis back in Norfolk,” Showalter said. “I like Travis. He’s better than he’s shown here. I know that; you know that.”

Jurrjens, 27, is making his second trip to Baltimore after making his only start of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 18. He didn’t factor in the decision but allowed four earned runs in five innings before being optioned back to Norfolk a few days later.

He is 5-5 with a 4.06 earned run average in 14 starts with the Tides this season.

After completing his rehab assignment with Norfolk, second baseman Brian Roberts arrived at Camden Yards Saturday and is expected to be activated from the 60-day disabled list on Sunday.

Outfielder Nolan Reimold is still scheduled to travel with the club to Chicago where he will be activated from the 15-day disabled list. He will continues his rehab assignment with Bowie through the weekend and entered Saturday’s game having gone 7-for-38 with a triple, four RBIs, and 12 strikeouts with the Baysox.

Showalter said the tentative plan for Chen would be for to pitch on Thursday in Chicago or Friday in New York if the organization is happy with what it sees in Saturday’s Double-A start. Should he pitch on Thursday, he could potentially make three starts prior to the All-Star break.

Wilson Betemit continues to make slow progress in Sarasota as he continues to build strength in his quad. The infielder suffered a Grade 2/3 PCL sprain in his right knee during spring training, an injury originally diagnosed to keep him sidelined for a minimum of eight weeks.

The 31-year-old did not have surgery on what was considered a serious injury, but the Orioles remain hopeful that he can make some contributions at some point after the All-Star break. When that will be, however, is anyone’s guess.

“It’d be nice to get Wilson back,” Showalter said, “but I don’t see a projectable date right now.”

Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada was scheduled to pitch for Norfolk on Saturday night and was not considered for the spot Jurrjens will fill at least for the next game or two. Showalter wants to see Wada continue to make progress over his next few starts after providing a more competitive effort over his last couple outings with the Tides.

 

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McFarland to make first major league start against Yankees Friday night

Posted on 28 June 2013 by Luke Jones

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BALTIMORE — Orioles manager Buck Showalter offered a changeup to nearly everyone by announcing left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland will make his first major league start Friday against the Yankees instead of fellow rookie Kevin Gausman.

The assumption all week had been the latter would take the mound against New York after he was recalled Monday to pitch out of the bullpen if needed, but Showalter officially revealed his plan to go with McFarland following the Orioles’ 7-3 win over Cleveland on Thursday night.

“It’s his turn. He’s on four days of rest,” Showalter said. “He’s ready to go 80-plus pitches tomorrow, at least, and hopefully pitch five or six innings. The Yankees will have something to say about that. We’re in a position to cover whatever innings. We wanted to see how we did tonight.”

Gausman will be available to pitch out of the bullpen and could be a decent bet to receive some work on Friday with McFarland’s pitch count likely limiting him to four or five innings at most. McFarland, a Rule 5 selection that must remain on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to Cleveland, has served as the long man in the bullpen through the first three months of the season.

McFarland is 1-0 with a 4.14 earned run average in 18 appearances covering 41 1/3 innings. He has averaged 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched despite a sinking fastball that only sits in the high 80s.

“Mac is throwing the ball well and deserves an opportunity,” Showalter said. “We had a couple options. He was one of them, and that’s where we’re going to go tomorrow.”

A simple look at the Yankees lineup may have offered a better indication of which direction Showalter was leaning as Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Lyle Overbay, and Travis Hafner are all left-handed hitters. McFarland has fared well against hitters from that side of the plate, holding them to a .250 average and striking out 21 of the 71 left-handed batters he’s faced this season.

With Wei-Yin Chen scheduled to make a rehab start for Double-A Bowie on Saturday, it’s possible that McFarland is only receiving a spot start as well as an opportunity to show what he can offer in a different role. The Taiwanese lefty could be activated from the disabled list as early as this coming week.

The only perplexing aspect of the decision is the use of Gausman in the bullpen considering he hasn’t pitched since June 19 when he made a start for Triple-A Norfolk. Assuming Chen’s rehab start goes well and he’s ready to return to the Baltimore rotation in his next outing — far from a guarantee — Gausman could be optioned back to Norfolk by the end of the weekend with McFarland moving back to his customary relief role.

Showalter also revealed that Brian Roberts won’t be activated from the DL for Friday night’s game, instead pointing to Saturday or Sunday as the more likely day for the 35-year-old second baseman’s return.

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Strop’s collapse exposes concerning truth about Orioles bullpen

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Strop’s collapse exposes concerning truth about Orioles bullpen

Posted on 12 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — It’s only getting worse for Orioles relief pitcher Pedro Strop.

Fresh off a stint on the 15-day disabled list with what was labeled a lower back strain — many have drawn their owns conclusions on the injury — Strop displayed the same form seen over the first two months of the season Wednesday as he allowed four earned runs and saw his ERA balloon to 7.58 while retiring just one batter in the seventh inning. The implosion turned what was a 4-2 Orioles lead into an eventual 9-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Despite a fastball that reaches the upper 90s and a slider with good movement that enabled him to serve as an elite member of the Baltimore bullpen through the first 4 1/2 months of the 2012 season, Strop is looking more and more like a pitcher whose time with the Orioles is running out.

“Not good,” Strop said in an interview with MASN before leaving the clubhouse as the rest of the media talked to manager Buck Showalter. “Only thing I can say. I couldn’t do the job.”

The Orioles aren’t hiding from Strop’s problems, evident by their decision to place him on the DL and circumvent the reality of the right-hander being out of options. Manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Rick Adair used the 15-day period as a way for Strop to work on his mechanics in hopes of improving his command after he walked 14 batters in 17 2/3 innings through his first 22 appearances.

However, the organization decided not to send Strop on a minor-league rehab assignment that could have lasted up to 30 days and would have allowed him to continue working on adjustments to his mechanics while rebuilding his confidence against minor-league hitters. There was some thought of that possibility before last week’s oblique injury to Steve Johnson, which prompted the club to activate Strop instead of looking to Triple-A Norfolk for another option.

Even before Wednesday’s implosion, it was perplexing to see the Orioles forgo that strategy with nearly everyone concluding his DL stint was more about ineffectiveness than any legitimate health concern.

It’s understandable to not want to give up on a talented 28-year-old who only became a pitcher in 2006 after beginning his professional career as a shortstop. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette knows at least a few clubs would take a chance on Strop should he be placed on waivers in hopes of getting him to the minor leagues, but the Orioles are also a contending club in the American League East that needs production from every player on the 25-man roster.

“He’s just not getting results,” Showalter said. “He understands it. Nobody cares more about pitching well for this team than Pete.”

It’s easy to criticize Showalter for turning to the volatile Strop after starter Jason Hammel allowed a single to Alberto Callaspo and walked Brad Hawpe on four pitches to begin the seventh inning, but a quick inventory of the bullpen made it easy to see Showalter’s options were limited at best as he acknowledged “two or three” relievers were unavailable without revealing names. Closer Jim Johnson had pitched in three straight games and Tommy Hunter had thrown a total of 51 pitches on Sunday and Monday.

Showalter wouldn’t reveal his late-inning plans when asked, but that presumably left Darren O’Day available for the ninth inning and lefty Brian Matusz to pitch the eighth. As a result, Showalter faced the prospects of sending a tiring Hammel out for the seventh with 94 pitches under his belt and having Strop and lefty Troy Patton — who’s also struggled this season — as his options if the starter ran into trouble. Showalter was rolling the dice for a quick inning by Hammel, but the right-hander was obviously gassed before being replaced by Strop.

Perhaps the Orioles manager could have resisted the urge to use Hammel — who wasn’t exactly dominating hitters despite a statistically-effective outing through six innings — with the thought of a fresh inning with the bases empty being more conducive to Strop having success, but that’s looking with 20-20 hindsight. The reality is Showalter didn’t have great choices at his disposal in the seventh.

“I was hoping [Hammel] could get us through seven, but it wasn’t there,” Showalter said. “That’s kind of where we were. We keep a pretty good log on innings pitched and [pitchers warming up in the bullpen], and I’m not going to put anybody in harm’s way.”

The real issue with the Orioles bullpen is more concerning than the individual struggles of Strop. Beyond the reliable quartet of Johnson, O’Day, Matusz, and Hunter, the Orioles have three other pitchers in the bullpen — Strop, Patton, and Rule 5 selection T.J. McFarland — that they can’t really trust in important situations. All have long-term potential to varying degrees, but none can be moved off the 25-man roster without significant risk of losing them.

In fairness, McFarland has pitched respectably as a long reliever in blowout situations, but that’s a role typically held by a pitcher who can easily be moved on and off the roster to address a club’s needs at a given point in the season. It’s a major reason why we saw the one-and-done approach applied with several ineffective starting pitchers earlier in the season and it has further hamstrung the roster flexibility that Showalter and Duquette enjoy having.

The Orioles’ problems in middle relief have led to a heavier dependence on their best relievers, which jeopardizes the club’s long-term viability for the second half of the season. It’s not uncommon for even the best teams in baseball to have shaky options beyond the top three or four pitchers in the bullpen, but the keystone of the Orioles’ 2012 success included the effectiveness of middle relievers like Luis Ayala and Patton in the sixth and seventh innings that spared other late-inning options on occasion.

Baltimore needs improvement from its middle relievers or starting pitching — preferably both — to improve its chances in a tight division in which fourth-place Tampa Bay trailed first-place Boston by only four games entering play on Wednesday.

“We can’t pitch the same guys every night,” he said. “It just doesn’t work, and [Strop] was one of those guys for us last year and has been at times this year, and we hope that he will again. He pitched well and got physically fine and had a couple really good outings, as you saw. It just wasn’t there for him today.”

Bullpens are typically quite fluid over the course of a season, but the Orioles currently have just two pitchers (Matusz and O’Day) with remaining minor-league options and they obviously aren’t going anywhere. That means time is running out for Strop — you can say the same for Patton — to right himself after roughly four months of struggles going back to last year’s regular season.

The talent is there, but the Orioles need last year’s effectiveness to resurface.

They don’t have the flexibility to wait much longer.

 

 

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