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Left-handed reliever McFarland leaves game with tender elbow

Orioles left-hander T.J. McFarland left Sunday afternoon's Grapefruit League game against the Boston Red Sox with a tender left elbow, manager Buck Showalter said following his team's 8-7 loss at JetBlue Park.

The severity of the injury is unclear, but Showalter said McFarland — a contender to be the team's long reliever this season — will be re-evaluated on Monday.

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McFarland allowed seven of the 10 batters he faced to reach base, yielding two runs on five hits before he was removed after 1 1/3 innings. He was just short of his pitch count of 40.

"He just wasn't finishing his pitches," Showalter said. "You could see it in the game. You get to know a guy and you can tell there's a little something going on there, I thought anyway. Wally [pitching coach Dave Wallace] and I were talking a little about it. He seemed a little different today in the second inning."

McFarland has struggled through his first two Grapefruit League outings, having allowed three runs on eight hits over 2 1/3 innings.

Showalter said he first thought something might be wrong with McFarland between the fourth and fifth innings and he ultimately pulled McFarland out of the game five batters into the fifth inning.

"I was watching him between innings," Showalter said. "I always kind of look at the pitcher and he seemed uncomfortable. You get to know a guy and when he came in, I told Wally and the trainer to ask him if he was OK and he said he was a little tender in the elbow. So we'll check on that and see what happens."

McFarland, a former Rule 5 pick of the Orioles in 2013, has been a valuable bullpen asset over the past three seasons.

And because Showalter likes to have a left-handed long man to come in behind a right-handed starter — and the entire Orioles rotation this season is right-handed — the 25-year-old figured to be the favorite to be the team's long reliever again this season.

He is the second left-handed reliever to suffer an injury this spring. Left-hander Brian Matusz is out with a strained muscle in his lower back.

McFarland is 10-5 with a 3.89 ERA in his three seasons with the Orioles and was 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA last season in 40 innings of work.

Tillman to make spring debut: Right-hander Chris Tillman is scheduled to make his first spring training start on Thursday in a 'B' game against a group of Pittsburgh Pirates reserves on the Ed Smith Stadium back fields.

Tillman — slowed this spring by after feeling tightness in his right hip flexor muscle that led to him being scratched from an intrasquad start on Feb. 28 — is also scheduled to throw live batting practice to hitters on Monday, his final step before pitching in a game. Tillman will throw about two innings.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman will also pitch in that 'B' game.

Right-hander Tyler Wilson will start in the Orioles' home Grapefruit League game against the division rival New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. Wilson is scheduled to pitch three innings.

In previous spring trainings, the Orioles have kept starting pitchers away from facing AL East opponents or teams that play early in the season, instead sending them to 'B' games or minor league games to log innings.

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Waiting on Paredes: Showalter said that the Orioles will have a better idea of Jimmy Paredes' recovery time from a left wrist injury on Wednesday. Showalter said Saturday that he believed the club would know over the next 48 hours whether Paredes has a slight stress fracture or simply a bone bruise.

Now, Showalter said, there will be additional tests done on Paredes' wrist to find the severity of the injury.

If there is a break in his wrist, recovery time would be about four to six weeks, meaning Paredes would likely open the season on the disabled list. If the injury is just a bone bruise — as originally suspected — Paredes could be back in two weeks.

Around the horn: RHP Yovani Gallardo will make his first spring start in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. He is scheduled to pitch two innings in the range of 30-40 pitches. … Matusz, who has a strained muscle in his lower back, played light catch with Tillman on Sunday after taking the previous three days off. … LHP Jeff Beliveau, who has been slowed coming off labrum surgery last year, threw live batting practice to hitters on Sunday. Showalter said he would like to get him into spring games before the season starts. Beliveau is signed to a minor league deal.

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