The Orioles have announced that they will option right-hander Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk according to a press release recently issued by the team. A corresponding roster move will not be announced until tomorrow.
I’m somewhat surprised by this move but not entirely– someone had to go in order for Millwood to be added back to the rotation, and we can likely expect Millwood to step into TIllman’s spot on Thursday. While I do believe that it’s a bit of a quick hook, I believe that it’s the best choice of any of the young starters. Bergesen, Matusz, and Arrieta at least have some history of success at the major league level and their premier pitches are far more develooped. As Tillman’s brilliant start on July 10th indicated, the cut fastball will be a major key to his success. By extension, this most recent start indicated that without command of that pitch he can’t be expected to succeed at this level. He’s shown enough to me to give a good deal of hope for his future potential. He just needs to finish maturing that pitch, and so I think some starts at the minor league level will do him well.
Regardless, don’t write this kid off– he’ll be back up here and be a solid starter for the Orioles in the future. You can quote me on that.