After the Baltimore Orioles announced Chris Tillman wasn’t going to start on Opening Day, it leaves Kevin Gausman as the potential favorite. However, Gausman doesn’t want to start at Tillman’s expense.
Chris Tillman was the Opening Day starter for the Baltimore Orioles over the last three seasons. However, after undergoing a PRP injection in his shoulder, the Orioles have shut down the idea of Tillman starting against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 3rd.
With Tillman on the sidelines, it means Kevin Gausman will be the favorite to start on Opening Day. Manager Buck Showalter won’t announce a decision for a while, but Gausman makes the most sense since he was second in wins last season behind Tillman.
Behind Tillman and Gausman, the rest of the Baltimore Orioles rotation has a huge question mark hanging over its weary head. Dylan Bundy, Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley have all suffered from some form of inconsistency, although Bundy opened some eyes during the second half of the season.
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Gausman has always dreamt of being the Opening Day starter, but not at Chris Tillman’s expense.
"“I wish it was a different setting and why it might happen was different,” Gausman said. “I don’t want him to be on the DL, but yeah, obviously it would be something that would be pretty exciting for me and hopefully a first for me of many.“Obviously, it stinks that he’s down, but we’ve got a lot of really good arms here — as you saw yesterday on the first day of camp. We have a lot of guys who are young and able and can step in. … I wish it didn’t happen, but if he comes back stronger and better, he’s able to be that guy for us like he has been.”"
Gausman knows that whoever Showalter chooses to be the Opening Day starter will have not only a sense of pressure, but a knowing feeling of who really belongs out there against the Blue Jays.
"“He’s done it three years in a row,” Gausman said. “Everybody knows he’s our guy. He’s the guy that we look to to throw a lot of meaningful innings. He’s been that guy for a long time.”"
Even though Tillman isn’t that guy this year, the rest of the rotation knows they have to step up. With no Tillman for potentially the first week of the season, there is little to no margin for error.