Results tagged ‘ Chris Tillman ’

Tillman to BP, Os skip his next start

SAN FRANCISCO–The Orioles will skip starter Chris Tillman’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, using Thursday and Monday’s off days to offset the shorter turn. In the interim, Tillman will be moved to the bullpen temporarily.

The O’s won’t need a fifth starter until June 26 versus the Washington Nationals, and for now interim manager Juan Samuel said the team would rather an extra arm than a bat for Interleague play. Tillman –who allowed six earned runs over two innings in Monday’s loss to the Giants — won’t be available out of the ‘pen for Tuesday’s game, but could be used as a long relief man at some point during this six-game West Coast swing.

Both Samuel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz reiterated that Tillman will be a starter long-term with the organization and the move to is a temporary one that is more out of necessity.

When Tillman (0-3, 8.40 ERA) will make his next Major League start, however, is anyone’s guess. With the move to send Brad Bergesen back to Triple-A Norfolk, Kranitz confirmed that Bergesen could very well make that start on the 26th in place instead of Tillman.

Tillman’s loss on Monday marked the second time in four starts that he has failed to make it to the third inning. The 22-year-old’s lack of velocity –he didn’t break 90 mph — was particularly frustrating. Samuel said the key for Tillman, who typically tops out at 94 mph, will be to come out throwing hard and establish his fastball.

Without Tillman, the rest of the Os rotation will remain the same. Rookie Jake Arrieta will throw Sunday’s finale in San Diego. It’s important to note the decision to skip Tillman was one that Kranitz said the Orioles had already taken under consideration prior to Monday’s game. Since the Orioles have two off days in a span of a few days, a five-man rotation would give the O’s arms a week in between starts, which is something Kranitz was hesitant to do.

Arrieta's Arrival

Jake Arrieta’s here in Baltimore and, as I wrote earlier, will make his Major League debut tomorrow.

I spoke with him briefly tonight, and you get the sense that he almost relishes starting against the Yankees. Arrieta’s confidence is something the organization likes, and I think it’s almost necessary for survival as a young pitcher in the AL East.

Brian Matusz
carries the same sort of inner confidence. He’s a guy that says he trusts his stuff and you actually believe him. If the Orioles are going to start to turn the corner tomorrow, next week, or next year, they are going to need young guys like this- pitchers who would rather face the Red Sox and the Yankees than the Indians or the Royals.

Arrieta was well aware of who his opponent would be when he got the news in Norfolk Tuesday night.

“It’s a lot bigger names in the box score, but it’s the same game,” he said.  “Whether it’s A-Rod or some hitter from [Yankees Triple-A] Scranton, I have to approach [Thursday] like any other start.”

He said he wasn’t nervous yet, because everything had been such a whirlwind. But when he steps out on the mound at Camden Yards to face Derek Jeter, Arrieta acknowledged he’d have some butterflies. It’s only normal. Heck, even superhuman Stephen Strasburg admitted he was nervous for his debut.

Chris Tillman had a solid outing tonight. Arrieta has a chance to build on that and give the Orioles their first win against the Yankees since April 27. They’ve lost 10 in a row to New York since then.

Although that’s hardly the most sobering stat of the day, which is this: The Orioles had a lead for five innings on Wednesday night, marking the longest stretch they’ve had a lead since May 25 against Oakland.

It’s so unbelievable my old New York media buds had to ask me to confirm. Here’s hoping the O’s take care of that stat tomorrow.
 

Greetings from New York

Greetings from the new Yankee Stadium!
The tarp’s on the field here at Yankee Stadium (just in time to catch a quick downpour) but I’m hoping the Yankees-Orioles game will start on time.

This is a big start for Brian Matusz, the talented lefty who has just looked off his last few starts. This is a place –and a lineup– where the game can get away from you in a hurry. The first inning will be crucial for Matusz tonight.

In case you missed it, I wrote yesterday about some hope for the future, namely Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman. Two great kids with great futures in baseball.

Tillman on his debut

Top pitching prospect Chris Tillman, who was officially recalled following Friday’s game, made his season and tossed 5 2/3 innings in the Orioles 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays, yielding only a pair of homers.

The 22-year-old Tillman allowed a double to the first batter he faced but responded by striking out the side, ending with a 10-pitch ‘K’ of cleanup batter Vernon Wells, who saw a steady diet of low 90s fastballs.

“I thought that double was a pretty good pitch, you know?,” Tillman said. “They just came out swinging. I wasn’t too disappointed with the pitch, obviously with the result. Like I said, [catcher Craig Tatum] took control there and I just stuck with him and we were pretty much on the same page for the most part.”

“His fastball was sneaky at times,” Wells said of Tillman.  “I think he’s another guy that’s still kind of learning at this level. He’s got good enough stuff to be a really good one, especially in this division.”

Tillman -who was sent to Triple-A to work on his fastball command and cutter – showed signs of improvement but was also mistake prone, running up a high-pitch count early and often falling behind  batters.

“I missed with two pitches and they took advantage of it,” he said. “I didn’t throw a cutter today wasn’t too comfortable with it in the bullpen so I tried to stay away from that. Threw a couple change ups, one missed up, [I] would have liked to mix in a few more and get them off that fastball a little bit.”

Tillman allowed a two-out homer to Lyle Overbay and didn’t allow another Toronto score until Aaron Hill went yard to open the sixth. The Blue Jays entered Saturday’s game leading the American League-leading in homers and Overbay’s second blast -off reliever Alberto Castillo — was the club’s 50th long ball of the month, setting a new franchise record.

Following Hill’s homer, Tillman erased Adam Lind’s ensuing single with a double-play ball but was lifted followed Jose Bautista’s double down the right field line.  He threw 96 pitches (60 strikes) in the debut no-decision.
 
“I thought it was OK,” said Tillman when asked to evaluate his performance as a whole. “Didn’t think it was great, didn’t think it was bad.”

Koji's status could effect Tillman, Arrieta

Orioles reliever Koji Uehara wasn’t available for the third consecutive game on Saturday and is dealing with right elbow pain similar to the injury that ended his 2009 campaign.  Uehara said he first felt something during Wednesday’s 30-pitch outing in Texas and although nothing is official, the Orioles right-hander could be facing another trip to the disabled list. Uehara hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, leaving an already-short Orioles bullpen further depleted.

The question is what do the Orioles do now? Koji has to go to the DL if he can’t pitch (which would be his 4th trip to the DL since last May). And Trembley said he wouldn’t be available tomorrow which again leaves the bullpen in a bind. They’ve had to get 40 outs in the last three days and with Alberto Castillo being optioned back following Thursday’s loss, you really can’t blame Trembley for the decision to leave in Brad Bergesen in the sixth and then go to long man Mark Hendrickson.

Was it the right move? No. But it was his only move. 

The Orioles starters have failed to make it out of the sixth inning for the last three games, and before that Jeremy Guthrie went six on Wednesday. That puts more pressure on winless veteran Kevin Millwood, who basically needs to throw a complete game to help the pen catch up.

If there isn’t a roster move tomorrow, Monday’s off day could get interesting. Do the Orioles bring back up Castillo, who was largely ineffective in his last stint ? Do they move David Hernandez -who is most effective early — to the bullpen and call up Chris Tillman or Jake Arrieta? Or do they move one of those two young guys up the bullpen to ease them into the rotation and bolster the ‘pen’s depth?

Make no mistake- Tillman and Arrieta are close. So close that president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail paid a visit to Norfolk to watch their last start. When they do come up, what role they have is largely uncertain. But if it were up to me, I’d put Hernandez in the ‘pen and give Tillman or Arrieta a starting spot. Given Hernandez’s stuff, he could be scary good out of the bullpen. And right now, the Orioles don’t have too many relievers you feel good about going to in a tight spot. 
 

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

Catching up on the Tides

Chris Tillman started for Triple-A Norfolk last night and took the loss, for the first time in four starts, falling to 3-4 on the season. Tillman pitched six innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out two.The four earned runs were a season high as were the pair of homers allowed by Tillman.

Nolan Reimold didn’t have such a hot night either, going 0-for-3 with a walk in his debut for the Tides.

Jake Arrieta started this afternoon game’s and took the loss, surrendering four runs on five hits over six innings. It was the first time Arrieta has allowed more than three earned runs this season. Reimold went 0-for-3 as Norfolk fell to Buffalo for the second straight game, 4-0.

Tillman impressive again

It wasn’t exactly a great Mother’s Day for the O’s, who dropped Sunday’s finale to the Twins and had news break pregame that Jim Johnson is off to see Dr. James Andrews.

So here’s something to make you smile: Chris Tillman.

No, it wasn’t another no-hitter. But Tillman struck out a season-high 10 batters in seven strong innings to anchor Triple-A Norfolk’s 4-1 win over Toledo Sunday afternoon.

Tillman (3-3), earned his third straight victory and lowered his ERA to 3.49 in the process. The 22-year-old yielded just one walk and four hits, and each of the final six outs he recorded came via a strikeout.
 
Tillman faced just four batters over the minimum, throwing 62 of his 96 pitches for strikes.  He’s now gone 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA, 24 strikeouts, four walks and 19 hits allowed over his last four starts.
 
Pretty impressive. Although, I don’t think we see Tillman or Jake Arrieta until the O’s make some moves to help the offense. But they’re both certainly making a case to join the big league club sooner rather than later.

Arrieta, Tillman, Welty Honored

Chris Tillman earned International League Player of the Week for last week’s stellar performance, highlighted by Wednesday’s no-hitter against Gwinnett
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It was Norfolk’s first nine-inning no-hitter since Dave Telgheder t in May 1992 and also marked Tillman’s first career game.  After a rough start to the season, Tillman is 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA in five starts. He is slated to make his sixth start tonight against Scranton, with Koji Uehara throwing the second of his back-to-back relief outings.
 
Jake Arrieta was named the Orioles pitcher of the month. He entered the week with an International League-leading 1.61 ERA in five starts and is holding opponents to a .171 batting average. The 24-year-old Arrieta is 2-1 and has allowed four earned runs over 31 innings.

Player of the Month honors went to Ronnie Welty of the Frederick Keys.  Welty hit .279 with six homers and 21 RBIs in April, slugging .603 in 18 games.

Tillman's no hitter

Chris Tillman just finished a nine-inning no hitter for Triple-A Norfolk, the first nine-inning no-no for the team since 1992. Tillman issued one walk and struck out six in the 105-pitch effort. 63 of his pitches were for strikes.

Tillman lost his first three starts and said the Orioles told him to work on fastball command. But after a solid outing the last time out, he was told to just have some fun.

“Everything kind of fell into place,” Tillman said following Wednesday’s start. “I was pitching around my fastball. I had my curveball when I needed it. I was able to throw my changeup and my cutter.  My catcher [Adam Donachie] did a great job calling pitches. I had three or four great plays behind me.”

Norfolk won the game over Gwinnett, 6-0.

The no-hitter marked Tillman’s second win (2-3) and improved his ERA to 4.05. It received a nice round of applause from the crowd at Camden Yards as well.

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