Baltimore Orioles: Should Chris Tillman make rehab starts?
The Baltimore Orioles might or might not have a problem with Chris Tillman. As you’ll remember, Tillman injured his ankle on the last home stand, and he was skipped in the rotation the other night. Initially we were led to believe that he would be on track to start tomorrow in Anaheim. However that’s not going to be the case.
Tillman threw a bullpen session in Oakland, and for whatever reason was deemed not able to make the start on Friday. Now we’re hearing that August 11th is a target date for him to start, which would be in Seattle. So what gives on Tillman – do the Orioles have a potential injury concern?
Call to the Pen
Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that the Birds aren’t considering a DL stint for Tillman (retroactive to the day after his most recent start). However I suspect that the success of Tyler Wilson’s start Monday night in Oakland has deferred that for a couple of days. But the fact remains that the Birds have to be wondering how Tillman’s going to react when he does get back on the mound.
Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Birds aren’t in a position right now to be patient if a starter is unable to perform. So I would submit that perhaps it actually might be best to stick Tillman on the DL, and basically send him to the minors to make a rehab start or two – just to ensure that he’s in the right mindset and physical shape to be part of the Orioles’ stretch run. The minor league season ends at the end of the month; they might as well take advantage of that tool while they can.
At the end of the day if starters are struggling the O’s will end up taxing the bullpen, which ends up affecting the entire team. The O’s used a few different relievers in yesterday’s win in Oakland, however that doesn’t make too big a difference because they have an off day today. However in general this is when they need to ensure their starters are clicking – and Tillman is no exception.
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I just think that sending Tillman to the DL and then assigning him to a rehab assignment would be a way to ease him back into pitching on a rotation so as to ensure quality control. The last thing the O’s or Tillman himself is going to want is for him to come back unprepared. After all…the Birds are in a stretch run.
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