The Orioles announced Saturday afternoon that they have optioned left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for shortstop J.J. Hardy and starter Yovani Gallardo, who were both activated from the disabled list Saturday.
The club only needed to make one move because they optioned right-hander Mike Wright to Norfolk Friday night.
McFarland, who was 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in 13 games of relief, was optioned to Norfolk for the third time this season.
It is a bit of a surprise, considering that the Orioles could have removed an infielder from the 25-man roster, either Paul Janish or Ryan Flaherty
But Manny Machado’s looming four-game suspension – it is expected he will drop his appeal and begin serving this week – changed things. So the Orioles will stick with Hardy, Flaherty and Janish for now, because they have to play with 24 while Machado is suspended.
It’s possible McFarland could be back with the Orioles before the required 10 days in the minors are up. They could bring him back for as “the 26th man” for the club’s day-night doubleheader. He then would have to return to Norfolk.
With McFarland in the minors, the Orioles’ most likely candidates for Wednesday’s open start are Odrisamer Despaigne and Ubaldo Jimenez. Or the Orioles could bring up someone from the minors to start in the spot previously held by Wright. But they’d have to make another roster move then.