With the Orioles considering starting Chris Tillman on the disabled list to start the season due to a nagging abdominal issue, along with some lower back discomfort for Steve Johnson, Rule five pick TJ McFarland could be the chief benificiary.
The 23-year old lefy has pitched pretty well this spring overall showing a good changeup and the ability to get ground ball outs. With the Orioles needing to send him back to the Indians if they don't keep him on the 25-man roster this year, McFarland might get an opportunity to be a long reliever, at least until Tillman is ready to come off the disabled list.
The Orioles need a 5th starter just once before April 21st and either he or Brian Matusz could pick up that spot start depending on who is fresher at the time.
If Tillman goes to the disabled list, the top four starters will be:
1. Jason Hammel
2. Wei-Yin Chen
3. Miguel Gonzalez
4. Jake Arrieta
The bullpen looks like:
Darren O' Day
Hunter or Ayala could be moved before spring training is out, but they will be on the bubble when Tillman is ready to come back along with McFarland.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.