BALTIMORE—In the last three years, T.J. McFarland has shuttled between Norfolk and the Orioles, he’s lost track of how many times he’s come back.
“It’s been a lot, so I don’t like to think about how many I’ve had,” McFarland said.
“It’s always a great feeling to get that call back up. Over the years, I’ve had multiple calls back up. They feel the same. They feel great.”
This is McFarland’s third stint with the Orioles this year. He was on the team’s Opening Day roster and sent down for the first game of the May 7 day/night doubleheader, and added as the 26th man for the second game, then sent down again.
In four games, three of them starts for the Tides, McFarland is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA. He pitched into the eighth inning, though he knows that starting in Triple-A and the major leagues are very different.
“Starting here is a completely different level,” McFarland said. “I just know I was able to get stretched out and work on my pitches, and I think I’m better for it.”
McFarland has pitched in 113 major league games, and started twice, once each in 2013 and 2014.
There’s a possibility he could start on Monday since the Orioles sent Mike Wright down, but he’s not counting on it.
“Just down in the bullpen, I’ll wait for the phone to ring. If it’s my turn, it’s my turn to go in,” McFarland said.
He missed more than a week when he injured his left knee on a tag play at the plate, but after an MRI in Baltimore, was cleared to return this week.
“I took a tumble and then got back up and tried to pitch again, and that’s kind of when I felt it. Luckily, I saw the doctor and everything checked out,” McFarland said.