Chris Tillman will no longer be the Opening Day starter for the Baltimore Orioles. However, he believes he won’t miss much time at all.
Baltimore Orioles starter Chris Tillman won’t pitch on Opening Day after receiving a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in December. But on Wednesday morning, Tillman met with the media and said he didn’t believe he’d miss much time.
Tillman pitched through something similar back in August, which resulted in a trip to the disabled list. However when Tillman went to begin his throwing program over the offseason, something didn’t feel right. He spoke to the Orioles training staff who gave him the PRP injection. The injection shut Tillman down until Spring Training, which means Tillman could find himself opening the season on the disabled list.
"“I think it’s always a disappointment, but I kind of have a good feeling for where this thing is at right now, and I think …wanting to do it right,” Tillman said. “I wouldn’t be hugely disappointed [not being the Opening Day starter] at this point, because I want to do it the right way.”"
Tillman isn’t particularly sure of his rehab program, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tillman won’t face hitters until March. Tillman is scheduled for four or five catch sessions which will be continued with long-toss progression.
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"“I’ve been throwing here recently, and I’m going to throw again today,” Tillman said. “It’s been feeling real good throwing, and it’s getting stronger, and it’s feeling better every day. I haven’t really felt it much. It’s definitely much, much better than when I was sitting at home not doing much.”"
2017 is an important year for Tillman. This is the last season he’ll be under contract with the Orioles and will subsequently enter the free agent market. Tillman doesn’t want the injury to set him back, but he’d rather be 100% healthy so he can build his market value and help the Orioles to an AL East title.
"“I think [the need to be cautious] goes with any injury,” Tillman said. “There’s a lot of hurdles to get over. I think most of them are mental. To get past that, is part of — I’ve talked to many doctors in the last couple months and they are all optimistic and all positive. I think it’s getting past the hurdles. And if there’s a setback, there is. But like I said, I want to do it right. I’m not going to rush out there just to get out there and have two more starts. I feel good right now.”"
Tillman went 16-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 30 starts last season.