Right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who made his first start for the Orioles on Saturday and allowed four runs in five innings, was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk.
“We need length in our bullpen as most clubs do … and Jair is not available to do that tonight," manager Buck Showalter said. And as always we are going to lean on protecting our bullpen and pitching staff and keep the length down there.”
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Showalter said Jurrjens could be back in 10 days, but at least until then the Orioles have an opening in their starting rotation. Jurrjens’ turn would have been Thursday in Toronto. Jurrjens, by the way, politely declined comment after he was informed of the decision.
There are two primary options for Thursday, Showalter said: Righty Jake Arrieta and Rule 5 lefty T.J. McFarland.
Arrieta obviously has more experience, but he has a 6.63 ERA in four previous starts this year. He is 1-2 7.31 in three starts at the Rogers Centre. And Arrieta has been dealing with a tight shoulder that prevented him from making his last start at AAA – meaning he hasn’t pitched in a game since May 7.
McFarland, who has a 2.61 ERA in 20 2/3 innings as a rookie, has never started a major league game. And he hasn’t thrown more than 53 pitches in any of his 10 big-league outings this year. Plus, the Orioles have been reluctant to move him from the long relief role that the 23-year-old has thrived in this season.
Some other quick notes from Showalter’s pregame session:
Adam Jones is the designated hitter today partially because Jones tweaked his right leg running the bases on Monday, and though the center fielder said he is fine, Showalter wanted to give him a day off from the field.
Catcher (left thumb) Taylor Teagarden is a few days away from playing a game, perhaps as early as Monday in extended spring training.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold (hamstring) could go with the team to Toronto to take batting practice this week. He would have to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before he re-joins the club.
Here are Tuesday’s lineups:
Orioles: McLouth 7, Machado 5, Markakis 9, Jones DH, Davis 3, Wieters 2, Hardy 6, Dickerson 8, Navarro 4. Gonzalez 1.
Yankees: Gardner 8, Cano 4, Wells 7, Hafner DH, Overbay 3, Granderson 9, Adams 5, Nix 6, Romine 2. Hughes 1.