SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles defeated State College of Florida 6-1 today in a game that doesn’t count in the Grapefruit League standings.
T.J. McFarland tossed four perfect innings, striking out six. The left-hander will find out later today whether he made the club. Got to like his chances.
Travis Adair, son of pitching coach Rick Adair, homered in the bottom of the eighth to complete the scoring.
Chris Tillman allowed one unearned run and two hits in five innings today, with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 81 pitches.
Now he’s got to wait until April 6 to get in a real game after the Orioles placed him on the disabled list yesterday with a strained abdomen.
“It is what it is,” he said after doing some throwing in the bullpen. “I was hurt. I did miss enough time to not get ready for one of the early games. I don’t disagree with it.”
Tillman only started two Grapefruit League games, but he struck out Nick Markakis three times today. That counts as facing major league hitting.
“I got a good read today with Nicky,” he said. “He talked to me after we faced each other, and he told me pretty much everything is really good.”
Tillman will probably throw a few bullpen sessions before April 6.
Despite his placement on the DL, he’s still excited to be part of the team and included in its rotation.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It goes to show the stuff I went through last year, the rough start, kind of went through ups and downs, it shows that if you put the work in, the results will come.
“I think I’m ready, especially after today. Big step for me. It’s not the matter of pitches, it’s the number of times you get up and down. That’s a big reason I got up one more time in the bullpen.”
The 25-man roster is taking shape. Since Brian Matusz is being placed in the bullpen, it’s assumed that Mark Hendrickson will be reassigned to minor league camp. Wilson Betemit and Tsuyoshi Wada have to be placed on the disabled list.
Update: McFarland has made the team as a Rule 5 pick, and will start the year as the third lefty in an eight-man bullpen while Tillman is on the disabled list.
Joining Tillman on the shelf is Steve Johnson, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle.