We’ve discussed pitching a lot this offseason. The
So where does Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland fit into the mix?
It's always tough to retain Rule 5 picks – they must remain on the team's 25-man roster for the entire season – and McFarland will be no different.
The Orioles put a lot of effort into this year’s Rule 5 draft and they were pleased to acquire a left-hander who was 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 starts last season between the
And while he's been a starter – the competition to crack the starting rotation will be tough – he could be a relief option as well.
While pitchers have always been popular Rule 5 picks, it’s difficult to keep them on a major league roster for an entire season because if they’re not entirely major league ready, it’s difficult to make necessary adjustments with them while they’re an important member of a 11- or 12-man pitching staff. Each pitching staff spot is critical, especially in the
Barring a trade that unloads some of the organization's young pitching, the Orioles will go to Sarasota with a bevy of capable arms competing for roster spots with very few openings available.
When the Orioles were able to retain last year’s Rule 5 pick,
The Orioles will likely find out if -- and how – McFarland can help during the spring.
Before Flaherty, the Orioles were able to retain just one pitcher who was a Rule 5 selection over the past decade. That shows how difficult it is to retain pitchers in the Rule 5 draft for any club.