T.J. McFarland disappeared from Norfolk on Wednesday. There was no ransom demand issued, probably because he was en route to Houston after being recalled by the Orioles. Right-hander Oliver Drake was optioned back to Norfolk to make room for McFarland on the roster.
The move makes sense for a couple of different reasons. As McFarland has been serving as a starter with the Tides, he can serve as the long man out of the O's bullpen, which is a role that has been unfilled up until now. Also, with the suspension of Brian Matusz likely to begin soon, the Orioles will have another non-closer left-handed pitcher available in the bullpen for the duration of Matusz's absence.
Drake has appeared in five games for the Orioles, and while his ERA is a superficially non-terrible 3.52, the fact that Drake has walked six batters in 7.2 innings of work is probably the easiest explanation for why he was the player optioned - well, that and the fact that Drake is the only one out there who can actually be optioned.
Of course, this roster move is not the solution to everything that ails the O's team right now. It's the best they can make out of the current situation, though.