Why not Tillman or Arrieta's turn?
I’ve gotten a bunch of emails and tweet questions about the Orioles decision to go with Mark Hendrickson for Sunday’s spot start instead of recalling top pitching prospects Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman. If you haven’t already read it, David Hernandez was scratched from the start and is day-to-day with left shoulder discomfort.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley said there was no thought to bring up a Minor League pitcher, saying he preferred to keep it in-house for one start.
There are a few factors that went into the decision starting with…
1) Neither Tillman or Arrieta were on schedule to start Sunday. If you’re a loyal blog reader — and if you aren’t, you should be ;-) – you’d know that both of them just pitched on the 14th and 15th. They each took a loss for the Tides against Buffalo.
2) While Tillman is on the team’s 40 man roster, Arrieta is not, meaning it would require some shuffling to add him to the roster and possibly cost the Orioles a player.
3) Hernandez fully expected to make this start. The final decision didn’t come down until Saturday night and yanking Tillman or Arrieta out of upstate New York for a late flight to make their season (or in Arrieta’s case, professional) debut isn’t ideal.
4) Mark Hendrickson has good numbers against Cleveland. He entered Sunday 1-0 in five games (four starts) against the Indians, with a 4.38 ERA.
With all that being said, if Hernandez develops into a DL scenario it certainly changes things in regards to who the Orioles use in that fifth spot. This is an interesting situation and one to keep an eye on. While Trembley was confident Hernandez would start Friday, the right-hander was less certain. I don’t doubt that Hernandez wants to pitch -especially against an opponent that’s not the Yankees or Red Sox – but shoulder injuries can linger.
You get the sense in talking to Hernandez that he knows he doesn’t have a lot of rope here, with both Arrieta and Tillman lurking in Norfolk.
Here are Tillman and Arrieta’s Triple-A numbers:
CHRIS TILLMAN 3-4 3.83 in 8 GS, 36 K, 9 BB
JAKE ARRIETA 3-2, 2.20 ERA in 8 GS, 39 K, 28 BBs