The Baltimore Orioles and Norfolk Tides Shuttle


Oct. 10, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mychal Givens plays for the Glendale Desert Dogs against the Scottsdale Scorpions during an Arizona Fall League game at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The shuttle between the Baltimore Orioles and the Norfolk Tides has been as busy as ever here in 2015, and it might be just beginning.

T.J. McFarland – He is back with the Orioles after some time in Norfolk to get some mechanical issues straightened out. Actually, he only had a 1.93 ERA in his 9.1 innings with the O’s earlier this year, but he allowed 12 hits and 8 walks in that time!

In Norfolk McFarland has started seven of the nine games in which he has pitched 34.1 total innings. So he has been stretched out a bit. He had some decent success. Even though his ERA was 3.41, the WHIP numbers were almost one-half of the ghastly numbers for the O’s.

Oliver Drake – It was Drake who was sent down to be exchanged for a pitcher who could provide more length – with Bud Norris starting and Miguel Gonzalez coming next, after being back from the DL. The Birds did not need to use McFarland in last night’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox. One good thing about losing on the road is that you only need to cover eight innings.

Drake did not get into any games during this second stint with the Orioles. But he looks to be the real deal as a short reliever. He has a 0.67 ERA in 23.1 innings with the Tides. Is that good?

Mychal Givens – It was great to get a look at Givens on Wednesday night as he made his debut with a 1-2-3 inning, including getting Big Papi out. It is a lively arm that he has – a sort of poor man’s Darren O’Day.  It is deceptive, and I believe it will be effective. However, he might not be with the team long on this stay. Perhaps even by the time you read this he will be sent back to Norfolk to clear a space for the return of Gonzalez.

More from Baltimore Orioles

Bud Norris – What is the story for the rest of the year? It is difficult to say. Honestly, his past two outings have been pretty good – so long as they lasted. It just seems that when he runs out of steam, it is pretty much all at once. But if so, this would be consistent with recovery from the previous health problems this season.

So what are the chances that Norris can be a main contributor in a long run throughout the season and beyond? It hits me as equally possible and not. The only way to find out is to send him out there some more. And the only to get something back in any trade that could be made would also be to showcase that he can get people out.

Actually, none of the five runs he gave up were earned. But following the two errors that put the first two Red Sox runners on base in the sixth inning, his pitches did not have the same zip as just the inning before.

Steve Pearce – Somebody else will have to go out soon to make further roster space available. Many think it will be Pearce. As I’ve said before, that would be an emotional parting for Showalter who truly loves the guy and his work ethic. It is commendable.

But the year he has had so far is just a nightmare. He is merely hitting .206, though he does have the six home runs and 22 RBIs in 48 games and 156 plate appearances. While .293 from 2014 might be a lot to expect to be repeated, something more like his .250 career average would seem reasonable. Again, as we often say, it is about be able to adjust to the league’s adjustments to you. That is what the great ones are able to do.

Next: Comparing Travis Snider and Chris Parmalee