Tillman decision looms

SAN FRANCISCO — With a final decision on Chris Tillman expected when the team gets back to Baltimore, interim manager Juan Samuel reiterated Wednesday that the 22-year-old will remain a starter. The only question is whether Tillman’s next outing will be with the Orioles or Triple-A Norfolk.

“We look at these guys as being starters,” Samuel said of a young core that includes Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Tillman. “If it means for [Tillman] to go back down there [to Triple-A] and get some work, then we are going to have to do that.”

Tillman allowed six earned runs over two innings in Monday’s loss and will be in the bullpen for the rest of the Orioles’ road trip, which includes a three-game weekend set in San Diego.

“Whether it’s starting or relieving, I just want to get myself back on track,” said Tillman, who is 0-3 with a 8.40 ERA. “I don’t think there is a person that wants to see me get back on track more than [pitching coach Rick Kranitz] and myself. He cares so much. I’m working hard, trying to get myself back to normal.

“I think it’s killing him because he’s seen me so much better, and I have to get back to that state. I think that’s why we’re going this route.”

Although the move to the ‘pen is temporary, Tillman was looking forward to working out some of his issues in long relief.

“I’ve talked to guys and they said coming out of the bullpen, you have a better feel of the game — the way they look at it, the way they see it,” Tillman said. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re kind of talking about. It will be a new approach to it. It’s a whole different ballgame out there.”

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