O's bullpen being taxed by rotation's woes

O's bullpen being taxed by rotation's woes

NEW YORK -- Before the game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter bristled at the term roster shuffling. But that's exactly what this Baltimore team is being forced to do day-in, day-out.

It was again necessary after Saturday's 13-5 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, as an already-short Orioles bullpen had to cover four innings after starter Dylan Bundy was removed.

"What else are you going to do?" Showalter said of his club's recent trend of making a daily roster move, mostly for the bullpen. "We're trying to win here, right? And keep people healthy."

It's been quite the challenge the past two weeks for the Orioles, who have lost 8 of 12 games and are currently dealing with injures to Opening Day starter Chris Tillman, center fielder Adam Jones and setup man Darren O'Day.

The Orioles added Julio Borbon to cover for Jones prior to Saturday's game, leaving their bullpen short. And, after getting a short start from Bundy, figure to again make another roster move before Sunday's series finale.

"I'm sure it tires them out. I was in the bullpen the first half [of the season]. So when the starters aren't going five or six innings, it's tough on the bullpen," Bundy said. "I feel for them. We've just got to do a better job, and we plan on it."

The Orioles' latest loss wasn't just on Bundy. Lefty T.J. McFarland, back from the disabled list Friday, allowed four earned runs, and Mychal Givens gave up three.

"Obviously, I left a lot of balls up in the zone. And they were able to capitalize on it. It's frustrating," McFarland said. "I tried to come in and do a job there and give length to the bullpen, and I wasn't able to do that. It kind of stresses the rest of the guys down there in the 'pen. But you know, you get kicked down, you have to get back up and do it again tomorrow."

It's the same mentality Showalter has. When asked whether this stress is particularly tough for his club, he said: "It always is [challenging]. From day one, it's a challenging time. What's going on right now doesn't surprise anybody. They've all experienced it. The Yankees have, we have. It happens different times of the season. They're all challenging times, and our guys always seem to respond well."

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.