SARASOTA, Fla. - T.J. McFarland sounded confident this morning that X-rays taken later today on his left elbow won’t reveal a serious injury.
The Orioles reliever came out of yesterday’s game against the Red Sox after 1 1/3 innings due to discomfort in the elbow. He was charged with two runs and four hits, and he walked two batters.
“Until I really know anything, I can’t really comment on what’s going on. So, I’m leaving today and getting an X-ray. We’ll see,” he said.
“I haven’t felt it before. It wasn’t like a lingering thing. It kind of just happened. We’re hopeful, everybody’s hopeful, it’s not anything too serious, so we’ll assess it and go from there.”
The discomfort is felt when McFarland extends his arm.
“It’s more on me finishing my pitches, fully extending my elbow,” he said. “It’s not anything to do with the ligament. That’s why it’s hopeful.”
Manager Buck Showalter noticed that something was wrong with McFarland while watching him in the dugout and again on the mound, causing him to signal for another reliever.
“There was a certain pitch,” McFarland said. “It was later on in the outing. I kind of obviously tried to pitch through it because I didn’t think it was anything. I still don’t think it’s anything. So, we’ll re-assess it.”
McFarland said he’s never suffered an elbow injury during his career.
“No prior stuff or anything like that,” he said. “That’s why it’s kind of a big question mark right now. I don’t know what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, Dylan Bundy came out of yesterday’s game with two strikeouts, a lineout and a really good feeling about his health and performance.
“I felt good. No problems with the arm, so I’m always happy about that. No soreness today, so that’s a positive,” Bundy said.
“I was locating arm-side away to the lefties and I was really happy with the way it was coming out of my hand.”
Bundy and Showalter are encouraged that the former first-round pick bounces back easily the following day after his appearances.
“It feels kind of like my first year in 2012 where I wasn’t getting any soreness after any kind of start,” Bundy said. “How many pitches I threw, however many innings. I wasn’t getting sore. That’s the case for right now. I’m not getting sore, which is good. It means I’m doing the right shoulder work, the right workouts, and right now it’s the right kind of balance in between everything.”
With Bundy out of options, the Orioles will give him plenty of work to make sure he’s ready to break camp with the team as one of its relievers.
“Good,” he said. “I’ve heard around camp that I was going to get used a lot in spring like a major league workload in the ‘pen, so I’m happy about that. I like to go out there and throw a lot. I’ve always been a guy who likes to get the ball a lot and throw a lot. The more they put me on the mound, the happier I’ll be, and it’ll be fun.”
Coincidentally, Bundy made his first Grapefruit League appearance on March 6, 2012 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, exactly four years ago yesterday. He walked Dustin Pedroia and retired Adrian Gonzalez in a scoreless fifth inning. His first Grapefruit League start a year later came against the same team in the same ballpark.
As for today’s game, the Twins are bringing infielder Buck Britton, former Orioles farmhand and older brother of closer Zach Britton.
For the Twins
Byron Buxton CF
Danny Santana SS
Miguel Sano RF
Kennys Vargas 1B
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Oswaldo Arcia LF
John Hicks C
Ryan Sweeney DH
James Beresford 2B
Phil Hughes RHP