Orioles left-hander T.J. McFarland began to warm up yesterday as starter Jake Arrieta tried to fight out of a jam in the home opener against the Minnesota Twins. He eventually sat down, another day passing without the Rule 5 pick getting into a game.
McFarland is being patient, of course. No complaints will be forthcoming. He’s in the majors for the first time and more than happy to wait his turn.
Not that the competitive juices have stopped flowing. He’s eager to make his debut.
“I’m fine,” he said. “It’s the game situations. If it’s close and we’ve got a chance to win, obviously the guys who usually go in in the sixth, seventh and eighth inning, and then Jim Johnson the closer, they’re going to do it.”
McFarland also threw in the bullpen during a game at Tropicana Field, but it was a scheduled side session.
“Hopefully, there’s a chance where we get ahead or whatever Buck (Showalter) feels like is a good situation happens,” McFarland said. “I just can’t wait to get out there and throw. I really can’t.”
This isn’t McFarland’s first appearance at Camden Yards. He threw at the January mini-camp before FanFest and got the full tour. But the ballpark took on a different look and feel on Friday.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s like the feeling of making the team all over again. You get to come back to Baltimore and see what this town is about. The clubhouse, the stadium, everything - it really is an overwhelming feeling a little bit. I’m going to try to put that past me when I go on the mound. Hopefully, I get in sometime soon. But it’s an incredible feeling.
“I got to see the place at the mini-camp, but it’s completely different atmosphere now.”
A few more notes:
* The Orioles are 24-8 in their last 32 regular-season games at Camden Yards, dating back to July 29, 2012. Their .750 regular season winning percentage at home since July 29, 2012 is the best in the majors, just ahead of Atlanta’s 25-10 mark (.714).
* The Orioles are the only team in the AL without a solo home run. They’ve hit six home runs with men on base. The next-highest American League club has two homers with men on base.
* The Orioles have three homers this year of the three-run or grand slam variety. In 2012, they didn’t have a combination of three homers that were three-run or grand slams until May 5.
* The Orioles and Blue Jays are the only American League teams without an infield hit.