Orioles option T.J. McFarland to Norfolk, to recall right-handed long reliever for Tigers series

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In a riveting move that will shake the very foundation of the AL East, the Orioles sent down a long reliever who had appeared in just one game since being recalled.

Following Sunday's loss to the Houston Astros, the Orioles optioned left-handed long reliever T.J. McFarland to AAA Norfolk.  McFarland started the season in Baltimore, was optioned to Norfolk on April 26, was recalled to Baltimore on May 6, and now, appearing in just one game during his second stint with the big club, he's gone again.

Buck Showalter has told the Orioles beat writers that he's looking for a right-handed long reliever for the upcoming series against the Detroit Tigers, which leaves the team with a slate of unappealing options unless they get a little unorthodox.  Josh Stinson (he of the 7.15 ERA) is an option, but he's no longer on the 40-man roster, and would therefore require someone else to be removed.  Both Steve Johnson and Suk-min Yoon are on the 40-man roster, but neither has even impressed in Norfolk so far (5.17 and 7.12 ERA, respectively).  These are the three most likely guys to take the roster spot, which means that Orioles fans will want this particular roster spot to keep up McFarland's honorable tradition and not actually be needed in a major league ballgame.

My money (and my preference) would be on Steve Johnson.  My money, because Johnson's already on the 40 man, and appears to be the least worst of the three clear choices at the moment.  He also last pitched on May 8th and had a fairly decent outing (5 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB).  My preference, because it brings the club that much closer to summoning the full and awe-inspiring power of #TeamSteve.  All they would need to do is recall Steve Lombardozzi, and then never, ever start all members of #TeamSteve in the same ballgame, even though they would comprise 4/25ths of the active roster.

Meanwhile, for McFarland himself, you can be sure that this is not the last time he'll be seen in orange.  The Orioles have a rotation full of starters who throw too many pitches.  In a way, it's incredible that McFarland was only needed once in the last five days, but the Orioles were winning those games at most points -- not the situations where you expect a manager to turn to his long man in the bullpen.  Dan Duquette's roster merry-go-round (patent pending) continues to spin -- try not to get too dizzy.

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