Now Commenting On:

{"event":["opening_day" ] }

Tillman's return leaves O's with short bench

Tillman's return leaves O's with short bench play video for Tillman's return leaves O's with short bench

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles reinstated starter Chris Tillman from the disabled list and optioned infielder Yamaico Navarro to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot prior to Tillman's start Saturday against the Twins.

The move gives the Orioles a three-man bench with Taylor Teagarden, Alexi Casilla and Steve Pearce.

"We're going to err on the side of carrying the arms, especially protecting the bullpen until guys kind of find their step as starters," said manager Buck Showalter. "Rick [Adair] and I spent a lot of time, mostly leaning with what Rick thinks, about protecting some of our guys' innings, because we want to make sure we've got all of our bullets as we go through the season. I'm sure we'll go back to a four-man bench at some point."

Showalter said the team would have kept the roster constructed as such even if they didn't have pitcher T.J. McFarland, one of three left-handers in Baltimore's bullpen who must stay on the roster or the Orioles lose him due to his Rule 5 Draft status.

Tillman was slowed earlier this spring with an abdominal injury and last pitched on March 29 against the State College of Florida. Because it wasn't an official Grapefruit League game, the Orioles were able to backdate his DL stay to have him eligible for Saturday's start.

Navarro, 25, was recalled from Norfolk on Friday, but did not play. He was acquired from Pittsburgh in November after hitting .279/.366/.491 in 66 games with Triple-A Indianapolis last season and going 8-for-50 with the Pirates.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español