Can one truly go home again? The 2016 Orioles do not have an answer to that question, although they are trying to answer a related one of whether one can go back two years in the past by reuniting the 2014 team, one player at a time.
The latest addition coming back from that squad is reliever Tommy Hunter, who was released by the Cleveland Indians recently. The ‘16 campaign was neither good nor bad for Hunter. He was just a guy in the bullpen. He was hurt for a while and later they released him. And along came the Orioles, desperate for a fresh, known quantity.
Along with signing Hunter, the Orioles also recalled Oliver Drake from Norfolk. These moves were necessitated by Saturday’s O’s game against the Yankees burning through the bullpen. To make room on the roster, the Orioles designated both T.J. McFarland and Julio Borbon for assignment.
A tough thing to do to both players. That’s how it is in baseball sometimes. McFarland even had a minor league option remaining. The O’s could have just sent him down to the minors and brought him back later, if they wanted. Saturday’s outing seems to have been a final straw.
Borbon being sent to the great DFA in the sky is something that made me think, “Alright, Adam Jones must be healthy!” This is not the case. Jones is not in Sunday’s lineup. Steve Pearce is Sunday’s leadoff man and Nolan Reimold is again in center field. Yuck.
I suspect Borbon got DFA’d because McFarland pitched so poorly (only 0.2 IP when they needed 2-3 IP from him) that the O’s needed two fresh arms today, and the only way they could add another pitcher to the 25-man roster was to take Borbon off both the 25 and the 40.
They don’t want to option one of the relievers who’ve actually been doing their jobs. Even if it was just temporary, that would not help their desperate bullpen situation. Also, Borbon is probably a better center fielder than Reimold, and it’s not like Reimold is hitting anything, so basically, what the heck?
This is all “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” territory here.