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Orioles midday notes on T.J. McFarland, Pedro Alvarez' debut, and more

SARASOTA, FLA. — Left-hander T.J. McFarland threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Sunday morning, his first time on a mound after leaving his March 6 appearance with elbow inflammation, and after reporting no issues says the next step in his mind is returning to game action.

"I threw a good side, no problems," McFarland said Sunday. "Everything's good, coming out alright. … I'm not anticipating any problems, but tomorrow we'll reassess it in the morning and go from there. I think I feel good, and ready to get back out there."

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In Fort Myers, manager Buck Showalter said McFarland's mound session "went great."

McFarland said what the next step is will ultimately be determined by the team's training staff and coaches, who have to figure out where there's an opportunity for him to get work.

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But the positive experience Sunday only reinforced how fortunate McFarland feels to have potentially avoided a more serious elbow injury.

"The first couple days after it happened, we saw significant signs that it was going to be alright, so I kind of was relieved within the first couple of days," McFarland said. "But yea, definitely, it's a scary part of your body, especially for a pitcher to kind of tweak. You have to be careful."

Alvarez to play often

Before the game, which was first baseman Pedro Alvarez' first game, Showalter said the Orioles' newest acquisition should be ready to play often through the rest of spring training.

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He'll get a chance to play some third base, and may even see time in the outfield in minor league games before camp breaks.

"He could very easily lead our team in plate appearances this spring," Showalter said.

Alvarez' first spring at-bat with the Orioles was a loud double that scored his college teammate, Ryan Flaherty.

Triggs claimed

Right-hander Andrew Triggs, who the Orioles released to add Alvarez to the 40-man roster, was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics, the team announced. Triggs was added to the 40-man roster after a superlative season in Double-A Bowie, striking out 70 in 61 relief innings with a 1.03 ERA in 43 appearances.

Around the horn

Showalter also said Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman had good bullpen sessions in advance of their next starts. Tillman will face the Toronto Blue Jays in his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday after missing two weeks of games with a strained right hip flexor. Gausman will pitch Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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