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Showalter Likes What He Sees in T.J. McFarland


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This was discussed briefly in a game thread last week. The article is from February 13th, but I believe that Buck has made positive comments about McFarland since.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-02-13/sports/bal-orioles-tj-mcfarland-draws-attention-from-buck-showalter-20130213_1_buck-showalter-mcfarland-zach-britton

Maybe someone who saw today's game can comment on how he looked in today's 2-inning stint against the Pirates. :)

T.J. McFARLAND O(vs. PIRATES, 3/10) O(Spring Training)

IP:O 2

H:o. 2

R:O. 0

BB:. 0

SO:. 1

2013 ERA: 6.35 (Spring Training)

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I haven't actually had the chance to watch him pitch but he hasn't given me any warm fuzzy feelings yet this spring. I feel like a club with a tunnel vision approach to winning the most games possible would not bring McFarland north considering the other options. But, again, I haven't actually watched him pitch and even if I have, I'm no scout. I'm just checking box scores.

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I haven't actually had the chance to watch him pitch but he hasn't given me any warm fuzzy feelings yet this spring. I feel like a club with a tunnel vision approach to winning the most games possible would not bring McFarland north considering the other options. But, again, I haven't actually watched him pitch and even if I have, I'm no scout. I'm just checking box scores.

I don't see how he makes the team. Who do you bump for him?

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I think Tommy Hunter could be on the outs. There's also a spot if Matusz makes the rotation. We really don't have a long man so he still could fill that spot.

Steve Johnson should be a long man or starter. But I would not let Tommy Hunter go. He is a great long man and spot starter. I would be disappointed if that happened. Matusz belongs in the bullpen. Give him a spot start if needed.

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I don't think they'd release Hunter. But if Matusz is in the bullpen along with Strop, Patton, O'Day, Johnson, and Ayala, there's no real long man unless Hunter takes the role. I could see the O's making a minor deal to move Hunter. I loved the velocity increase from Hunter when he moved to the bullpen. but even with that, I don't think he's more than average.

Gotcha. Yeah, I could see Hunter getting dealt. I do like him as a long man though. I think you are onto something. My gut says Steve Johnson and Hunter are maybe competing for that long man job. Hunter has more gas and is out of options. Steve Johnson has options. I would probably option Steve despite him being perhaps a better options, just to avoid losing Hunter. He can bring the gas late in the game if needed too.

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He's most likely not going to be the fifth starter so what would his role be in the bullpen, loogy? Hunter is the long relief guy so would he be a 5th or 6th inning guy, maybe a spot starter or mop up duty now that Gregg is gone?

I agree with others, I just don't see how he cracks the 25 man roster.

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He's most likely not going to be the fifth starter so what would his role be in the bullpen, loogy? Hunter is the long relief guy so would he be a 5th or 6th inning guy, maybe a spot starter or mop up duty now that Gregg is gone?

I agree with others, I just don't see how he cracks the 25 man roster.

I didn't either, but weams is right in a sense and no one else has really established themselves. If he has made an adjustment and can do this a few more times he might surprise even me.

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.

This was discussed briefly in a game thread last week. The article is from February 13th, but I believe that Buck has made positive comments about McFarland since.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-02-13/sports/bal-orioles-tj-mcfarland-draws-attention-from-buck-showalter-20130213_1_buck-showalter-mcfarland-zach-britton

Maybe someone who saw today's game can comment on how he looked in today's 2-inning stint against the Pirates. :)

T.J. McFARLAND O(vs. PIRATES, 3/10) O(Spring Training)

IP:O 2

H:o. 2

R:O. 0

BB:. 0

SO:. 1

2013 ERA: 6.35 (Spring Training)

I saw him in the Toronto game and I wasn't impressed with his stuff. I mean, he looks to be 87-88 MPH lefty with underwhelming breaking stuff. With Patton and Matusz in the pen, I just don't see a place for him on the roster. If he was our guy I'd say he's worth keeping an eye on in Norfolk because he can get some ground balls, but I don't see him being kept barring an injury.

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I saw him in the Toronto game and I wasn't impressed with his stuff. I mean, he looks to be 87-88 MPH lefty with underwhelming breaking stuff. With Patton and Matusz in the pen, I just don't see a place for him on the roster. If he was our guy I'd say he's worth keeping an eye on in Norfolk because he can get some ground balls, but I don't see him being kept barring an injury.

OK thanks, Tony.

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Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland threw two scoreless innings yesterday against the Pirates - yeah, those guys - continuing the improvement that began after a bullpen session with pitching coach Rick Adair.

"I'm more comfortable and I'm sure I look a little more comfortable than before," McFarland said. "He said a few minor things and it kind of clicked for me. And from then on, I kind of calmed down on the mound and have gotten back to where I was years prior."

Adair and manager Buck Showalter went easy on McFarland despite his struggles in the intrasquad game and early exhibition games. They respected the success he achieved in the minors and didn't see the need for a major overhaul. Instead, Adair tweaked McFarland's mechanics to literally put him in a better position to get hitters out.

"Just a little alignment adjustment," McFarland said. "I was getting a little across my body with my hips, so I just kind of realigned it and positioned it toward the plate a little more, and I'm able to throw a lot more strikes."

And exude a lot more confidence.

"Yeah, I mean definitely (yesterday) was a solid outing and I'm going to build off that," he said. "Confidence is key. I'm definitely going to have a little more confidence when I go out there again my next outing.

"It's tough, me being a Rule 5 and everything," McFarland said. "I'm trying to make the team, essentially, so for me to change something drastic in spring training is going to be kind of hard. That's why Rick was able to find something small to kind of get me back to where I need to be, and it worked. Something small, but it went a long way."

It's still an uphill climb for a Rule 5 pick to stick on a major league roster, but Adair has McFarland pointed in the right direction.

"The last three outings I think we've seen more of what we had hoped when we took him," Showalter said. "It's so tough when they first get over here and you see a couple things. I think a lot of that was, I don't want to sway emotional or mental, but he had some anxiety the first couple times and he had gotten away from a couple of things. Rick was trying not to do anything for a couple of outings and he had gotten to the point where you could tell he was out of whack and you can see now the sync and the command.

"He was pretty good. I'm glad we were patient."

http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2013/03/looking-ahead-to-the-pirates-and-back-at-mcfarland.html

I agree with Tony that McFarland has a big uphill battle, but with 18 spring training games left to play, I wouldn't say it's impossible. He'll get several more opportunities to pitch, I expect.

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I saw him in the Toronto game and I wasn't impressed with his stuff. I mean, he looks to be 87-88 MPH lefty with underwhelming breaking stuff. With Patton and Matusz in the pen, I just don't see a place for him on the roster. If he was our guy I'd say he's worth keeping an eye on in Norfolk because he can get some ground balls, but I don't see him being kept barring an injury.

The only way I see him sticking is if Matusz or Patton isn't in the bullpen (injury/trade/starting rotation).

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If Buck and Adair think they have changed him enough to make him valuable to the team, I think the last spot in the pen is between McFarland and Matusz. Hunter has a spot at this point.

I can see no way McFarland gets a spot in the bullpen over Matusz.

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