Club selects contract of reliever Duensing; McFarland among rotation options
By Ryan Baillargeon
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles announced Thursday afternoon that starter Mike Wright has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Baltimore selected the contract of Tides lefty Brian Duensing, who will be in the bullpen for the O's series finale against the Red Sox.
Wright started Wednesday's 13-9 win, but he lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits (four home runs). On the season, the righty is 2-3 with a 5.88 ERA in 10 games (nine starts).
Manager Buck Showalter said the club still views Wright as a starter moving forward, and he will start Monday for Norfolk.
"Today is part of the process," Showalter said. "A lot of guys come up and they get better each time. I'm hoping the next time Mike comes up we won't need this move to be made. He will contribute to our club this year as a starter, I really believe that."
The move leaves a hole in Orioles' rotation, but Showalter said "we'll get to that when we get there." During his pregame news conference Thursday, he mentioned lefty T.J. McFarland, who was recalled Wednesday, as an option. He also noted that Yovani Gallardo, who made a three-inning rehab start for Class A Frederick on Thursday, is another option, though the O's don't want to rush him back.
McFarland made three starts with the Tides this year, compiling a 1.69 ERA in four appearances.
"I enjoyed it," McFarland said. "I was able to mix up my pitches a lot more. Get stretched out. I was able to get up to 7.2, which was nice."
Duensing, who fills out Baltimore's 40-man roster, has a 2.70 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in the Minors this season. The Orioles agreed to a Minor League contract with the 33-year-old on May 23 after he opted out of a deal with Kansas City earlier in the month.
Duensing gives Baltimore another left-handed relief option, something the club has missed somewhat since trading lefty specialist Brian Matusz on May 23.
Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.