O's add McFarland to 'pen, option Tolliver

O's add McFarland to 'pen, option Tolliver

BALTIMORE -- Seeking to add length to their bullpen, the Orioles activated left-hander T.J. McFarland before Wednesday night's game against the Red Sox. To open a spot for McFarland, the club optioned left-hander Ashur Tolliver to Triple-A Norfolk.

"Dylan [Bundy] is down tonight, and want to make sure we have length regardless of who is starting for us or who we are playing," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Make sure we are able to protect everybody physically."

McFarland joins Vance Worley as a long man in the 'pen, and will help provide coverage with struggling right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez set to start Thursday. The Orioles don't have a day off until June 13.

"I think it helps to have two guys capable of pitching length and really three with Dylan. I've said many times I'd like to get Dylan to 60, 70 innings this year and healthy," Showalter said. "Our bullpen, we operate it best when we have two guys with length. Tolliver is capable of doing that, too. I think Ashur is capable, I'd really like to see his appearances come down a little bit. He had a lot of appearances for a Minor League pitcher when he came to us.

"I'd rather he pitch two-inning stints and further apart. He's capable of going multiple innings because of the changeup. He's presented himself well here."

McFarland, part of the Opening Day bullpen, has made four appearances for Triple-A Norfolk (three starts). He went 10 days between outings and was on the disabled list with a knee injury. He returned Monday and pitched two innings.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. 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.