Tag: Chris Tillman

Chris Tillman Injury: Updates on Orioles SP’s Shoulder and Return

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman has been dealing with discomfort in his throwing shoulder that has forced him to the disabled list. It is unclear when he will be able to return.

Continue for updates.

Showalter Comments Tillman’s Recovery

Saturday, Aug. 27

MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli noted that Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, “Tillman probably won’t need a rehab start.”

Tillman Hits DL

Wednesday, Aug. 24

The Orioles announced they placed Tillman on the 15-day DL retroactive to Aug. 21 with right shoulder bursitis.

Tillman Comments on Injury

Tuesday, Aug. 23

Tillman discussed his current malady, per MASN:

Injury-Plagued Tillman Remains Orioles’ Best Starter

The same shoulder forced Tillman to miss a start Aug. 17. His last start was pushed back to Aug. 20 in order to give him eight days’ rest.

It didn’t do him any good, as BrooksBaseball.net (h/t the Baltimore Sun‘s Eduardo A. Encina) indicated his four-seam fastball averaged 91.52 miles per hourhis lowest mark of the seasonand he allowed six earned runs on six hits while walking five in just two innings.

However, Tillman revealed after the difficult start that there were no problems with the shoulder.

It was an uncharacteristic start from him, though, as Tillman has been the best starting arm in an Orioles rotation that has not been good this season.

At 15-5 with a 3.76 ERA, Tillman was the only Baltimore pitcher prior to his injury with more than 10 starts who has more than five wins with an ERA lower than 4.11.

If Tillman is to miss an extended period of time, it’s not going to bode well for the Orioles’ postseason chances.



Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Tillman Becomes 5th Orioles Pitcher to Start Season with 13-2 Record

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman accomplished a rare feat over the weekend, becoming just the fifth hurler in franchise history to win 13 of his first 15 decisions to begin a season, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

Tillman needed everything he had to improve to 13-2 in Saturday’s 2-1 road win over the Tampa Bay Rays, as Tampa lefty Matt Moore held the powerful Orioles lineup to just two runs on five hits and a walk over 7.1 innings at pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field despite striking out only one of the 27 batters he faced.

Tillman was just a bit better, striking out three batters over seven innings of one-run ball, with the Rays scraping out four hits and three free passes along the way.

The standout Baltimore bullpen held things down from there, as setup man Brad Brach (0.88 ERA, 17 holds) and closer Zach Britton (0.68 ERA, 29 saves) showcased their typical dominant form by tossing a perfect inning apiece.

The 28-year-old Tillman has more than bounced back from an ugly 2015 campaign, dropping his ERA from 4.99 to 3.29 and his WHIP from 1.39 to 1.21. Although he’s been fortunate to strand 81.1 percent of baserunners while also holding opponents to a .263 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), Tillman deserves major credit for increasing his strikeout rate from last year’s 16.2 percent to this season’s 20.6 percent.

And while his record may come under scrutiny due to his team’s prolific offense, the Orioles have actually averaged 4.6 runs in Tillman’s 20 outings, compared to 5.1 in the team’s other 70 games. Granted, nine of the 13 wins came in games decided by three or fewer runs, which speaks volumes to Baltimore’s perennially strong relief corps.

Regardless, Tillman is starting to build a dark-horse Cy Young Award case for the first-place O’s, ranking second in the American League in wins (13), ninth in innings (120.1) and 17th in strikeouts (101) as well as ninth among qualified starters in ERA (3.29) and 15th in WHIP (1.21).

Those numbers wouldn’t stand a chance most seasons, but a strong second half could still put him right in the mix, as only four qualified AL starters enter Monday with sub-3.00 ERAs.

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Baltimore Orioles: Young Pitching the Big ‘If’ Heading into 2012

Just as it was last year, the Baltimore Orioles have everything riding on the shoulders of one very fragile piece of the team:

The young pitching.

We all saw how that turned out last season. But again, we look towards a season with our team banking everything on the young arms in the system—Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz and Chis Tillman.

Arrieta and Britton pretty much have starting jobs to lose in spring training. Matusz will need to prove he’s healthy and in shape after an historically bad season in 2011. Tillman, well… The O’s would be lucky to get even a serviceable starter out of him at this point.

Even if Arrieta and Britton secure their big league rotation spots, they still need to take steps forward. And Matusz needs to return to the form he showed in late 2010, after Buck Showalter took over as manager of the team.

If those things can happen, the O’s will have an honest shot at topping .500 this season and, if they’re lucky, an outside chance at securing the Wild Card.

Looking at their lineup, it isn’t the greatest, but it isn’t terrible either. There’s plenty of teams who have had success with a lineup that isn’t nearly as productive as the Orioles’ is. The Tampa Bay Rays are one team that comes to mind. The San Francisco Giants that won the 2010 World Series is another.

Want to know why they had success?

Pitching. Young pitching. Lots of good, young pitching.

The Orioles’ defense isn’t terrible either. It could improve and it’d be nice to see it improve, but it’s okay right now, especially if we have another losing season approaching.

The offense could hold it’s own as a winning team and the defense would be acceptable. It’s the pitching, it’s always the pitching.

Everyone knows how the team performed in late 2010. That happened because the pitchers were pitching at a high level.

The O’s hovered around .500 for the first couple months of the 2011 season because the pitchers were pitching alright. They weren’t pitching wonderfully, but better than us fans had been used to seeing.

When a team’s pitching falls apart, the team falls apart. Everyone knows that.

But strong pitching can carry a team to a winning season, the playoffs and even a title.

If the young pitching decides to grow this season, the O’s could be in good shape.

If not, brace yourselves for another long season, Orioles fans.

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Should Baltimore O’s Pitching Prospect Zach Britton Be Their Fifth Starter Now?

About a week and a half ago, I wrote how touted Orioles lefty Zach Britton was making an early case to be the fifth starter for the team out of the gate, after completing two scoreless innings in his major league spring training debut.

Well, all he’s done since then is add to his case. A four-inning scoreless start this past Saturday brought his total scoreless innings this spring up to nine.

With injury-prone starter Justin Duchscherer experiencing hip problems again and most likely not prepared for the start of the season, a hole opens in the rotation that Britton, Chris Tillman and Ryan Drese are competing for.

And of those three pitchers, Britton has had the best spring.

Drese is also making a case for himself, allowing only one earned run over seven innings this spring. Another thing the pitcher—who is attempting a comeback after being ineffective for years—has going for him is that his best season was with the Texas Rangers, when current Orioles manager Buck Showalter was the Rangers’ manager.

Tillman, currently viewed as the favorite for taking that open starting rotation slot, has thrown 8.2 innings this spring and has an ERA of 5.19. But because of his dominance at the AAA level last season, which included a no-hitter, many believe he should remain with the big league team.

They also believe that management should stop yo-yo’ing him back and forth between the minors and majors. If he has nothing more to learn at the AAA level, then he shouldn’t remain there—it can only hurt his mentality.

It has been widely debated by Baltimore’s baseball writers and the team’s fans for the past week on whether Britton should be in the majors come Opening Day on April 1. At the beginning of spring, it was all but assumed that he’d be going back down to AAA to begin the year, having made just 12 starts there in his career.

Also, if he wasn’t with the big league club for the first 20 days of the season, his service clock wouldn’t count this year, thus putting off his possible free agency for another year. With a prospect as highly touted as he, it is easy to see why that’s an appealing option.

The Orioles wouldn’t need a fifth starter until April 10, when they play the Rangers at home. That means that they could break camp with a four-man rotation, eight relievers, and figure out who’s starting that April 10 game when the time comes, or they could slot Drese into the role, giving more development time to Tillman and Britton.

There’s also the option of giving the spot to Tillman out of the gate, making it his to lose.

I’d like to see Britton start off the year at AAA Norfolk and to be called up in May or June if he continues to show he’s ready for the bigs.

To me, it’s about both the developmental factor—giving the young pitcher more time to learn and build up his confidence winning at a lower level before being shown the big bats in the majors—and the business factor.

If he becomes everything he’s capable of being, what team wouldn’t want to hold onto him for an extra year?

As for giving the spot to either Tillman or Drese, I can’t decide. Drese has definitely made the better case, and if he continues to pitch this spring like he has been, then he’s earned it fair and square.

However, Tillman is part of the future, and really needs to be trotted out there every day at the major league level so that the Orioles’ executives can see what they really have in the young pitcher.

There’s also Rick VandenHurk, a young and talented pitcher who came over from the Florida Marlins at the trade deadline last year. He has given up four earned runs over six innings this spring and is out of options. Although, there’s always the possibility he makes the club as a long reliever/swingman type pitcher.

It’s certainly an interesting dilemma for Showalter to figure out over the rest of spring training.

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