Wanting to make sure Sunday's bullpen is covered, even with lefty Brian Matusz returning from an eight-game suspension, the Orioles demoted reliever T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled right-hander Tyler Wilson.
McFarland had pitched two consecutive days and, despite his impressive 1.93 ERA, had not been particularly sharp. He's allowed baserunners in all 10 of his outings and had allowed 12 hits and eight walks in 9 1/3 innings. Normally a strike thrower, McFarland, 26, issued 13 walks in 58 2/3 innings last year.
"If you look at ERAs and stuff, that's one thing. But peripherally it's not what Mac is capable of," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We've seen it. And I really would not like to pitch him today anyway physically, and we've got a fresh arm."
The Orioles will have McFarland pitch in the bullpen at Norfolk instead of in the rotation, which he had done with the Tides. The purpose, Showalter said, is they want McFarland to get comfortable again pitching in the middle of an inning with runners on base, which is how he'll often be used in Baltimore. On Saturday night, he entered with two on and two out and walked the only batter he faced.
"We want to get him in the bullpen there and simulating situations he's coming into here in the middle of an inning," Showalter said. "He's had a little problem in the middle of an inning compared to starting an inning. And I think some of that is our fault [for having him start at Norfolk]."
Wilson, 25, is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three games (one start) with the Orioles this season. He was brought to Baltimore to start Sunday if Mike Wright was needed in relief. Wright wasn't, and so he is starting against the New York Yankees in the Sunday finale and Wilson is in the bullpen.
It's possible Wilson will be around only for a few days. Kevin Gausman is pitching two innings Tuesday for High-A Frederick and then could be activated to start a game in Toronto – in essence, the Frederick outing could serve as a workday in between starts for Gausman.
"It creates a lot of options for us. We'll see how things go for Gaus on Tuesday," Showalter said. "We have some options as we go forward."
Yankees lineup: Gardner 7, Headley 5, Rodriguez DH, Teixeira 3, Jones 9, Drew 4, Gregorius 6, Murphy 2, Williams 8. Warren 1.