Rule 5 pick Rickard turning heads at camp

McFarland exits game with elbow issue

Rule 5 pick Rickard turning heads at camp

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Rule 5 Draft pick Joey Rickard started Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Red Sox, and he continues to get a long look, having played in all six of the O's spring games.

"I like him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Rickard, who doubled twice in Saturday night's game against Tampa Bay and is 5-for-18 with two RBIs during Spring Training. "Good defender in center and left so far. Timing is everything. He's 24, lot of guys start figuring it out. He's kind of come into his own the last year, carried it over into winter ball. He's got a chance to make our club."

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Rickard, selected from the Tampa Bay Rays at this year's Winter Meetings, is a former ninth-round pick coming off an impressive season. He hit .321 with a .427 on-base percentage, .447 slugging percentage, two home runs and 55 RBIs in 117 games combined at Class A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2015. At Triple-A alone, Rickard batted .360/.437/.472 in 29 games. He followed that up with a successful stint in the Dominican Winter League.

"He's a sharp kid, runs the bases well. Got a sharp IQ," Showalter said of the center fielder, who had a second-inning single on Sunday. "There's only way way to find out, keep running him out there. These guys were told when they come in, 'Be ready to play.' Looks like Joey heard us."

Worth noting
T.J. McFarland left Sunday's outing earlier than scheduled with some tenderness in his left elbow.

Showalter said McFarland will be re-evaluated by the team's training staff, and he wasn't sure if it was anything serious or merely "a one-day thing."

McFarland pitched the fourth inning, and Showalter said he didn't like the look of the left-hander on the mound in the fifth. He was removed after recording one out, short of the 40-pitch mark that he was originally slated for.

McFarland was charged with two runs on five hits and a pair of walks on Sunday.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.