BALTIMORE – When the Orioles added Chris Tillman to the roster and optioned Yamaico Navarro to Norfolk, it meant that the team would go with 13 pitchers.
The Orioles want to keep Rule 5 draft pick T.J. McFarland, and for now, that means a three-man bench.
There are two off days coming up, on Tuesday and April 15, but after that the Orioles play 20 straight days.
“We’re going to err on the side of carrying the arms, especially protecting the bullpen until guys find their step as starters,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“I’m sure we’ll go back to a four-man bench at some point.”
Showalter said that even if they didn’t have McFarland, they might use this strategy.
In early starts, the Orioles have been reluctant to have their pitchers throw more than 90 pitches.
“After a time or two, I think we’ll let them go,” Showalter said.