Eleven pitchers threw their first bullpen sessions Wednesday, and Buck Showalter liked his first impression of left-hander T.J. McFarland, the team’s Rule 5 pick in December.
“He was impressive today,” Showalter said. “It's kind of nice. You see so much tape of these guys coming in and you read so many reports, and to be able to actually see them live, it's always a different look. Quickly, you can see why he's had success, the deception he has in his delivery. McFarland was maybe a guy who caught my eye today.”
McFarland, who was 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 starts with the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A and Double-A affiliates last season, is a career starting pitcher, and the Orioles intend on him competing for a rotation spot. But he could also fit into a bullpen role. As a Rule 5 pick, the Orioles must keep him on the 25-man roster or risk losing him back to the Indians.