To be clear…
I wrote today on the site about how important the trio of
Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman are to the Orioles future.
I also wrote several days ago that speculation has increased
that Tillman will start the year in Triple-A and David Hernandez will get the
fifth starter spot.
It might sound like a contradiction, but really the thought
is if Tillman doesn’t break camp, he will be up sooner rather than later. Given
the Orioles opening schedule -a stretch of 16 games without an off day – and
Tillman’s recent struggles, it makes sense to let Hernandez open the year. The team has said it’s a competition, and
numbers-wise Hernandez has outpitched Tillman this spring. Tillman is only 21 and you have to be careful
in bringing him along.
The sentiment is Tillman struggling at the Major League
level is more detrimental to his long-term success than Hernandez or Jason
Berken going through that same thing. With about a week of spring games to go,
a lot could be riding on the final start for each of these guys. Although if Koji starts the season on the DL,
I’m thinking Berken makes the team as the second long reliever.
The O’s play the Yankees tonight at 7:05 p.m. with Jeremy
Guthrie looking to get back on track. The game is on MASN.