Chris Tilmman is 3-2 with a 2.56 ERA over his last five starts at Triple-A Norfolk. He’s allowed just 9 earned runs on 17 hits in his last 31 2/3 innings pitched during that span.
While many O’s fans are clamoring for Tillman to get a shot in the Orioles rotation or think he could be valuable out of the bullpen, I say keep him down.
The Orioles are 7-3 in their last ten games and are 12 above .500. That’s good enough for second in baseball’s toughest division. Should this nice little trend continue, the Orioles will most certainly be looking to buy at the trade deadline and I think Tillman is a big piece of bait that they can use in a potential deal.
We’ve seen what Tillman can do in the big leagues. He’s a tall righty who throws hard, but his lack of movement on his fastball is what has made him dominant Triple-A pitcher and struggling big leaguer.
Maybe he’s changed that. Who knows?
Right now it’s not worth risking it and finding out he’s the same old guy. Keep him down, build up the luster and package him for something sweet.
I’m not going to create mock up trades for the Birds. Those are things you can hear over and over again from bad local sports talk radio callers or read in uniformed twitter conversations, but I will say that Tillman could be more valuable than he’s ever been for the Orioles come July 31.