Orioles Risk Damaging Tillman’s Trade Value With Recent Call Up

Image Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images

Let the Chris Tillman era official (re-)begin.

Tillman was scratched from his start at Triple-A Norfolk on Monday and Buck Showalter confirmed to reporters that he would likely start against the Mariners in game three on Wednesday.

This would push back Jake Arrieta’s start to Thursday and force him to face the Angels instead of the M’s. That’s probably for the best.

Nothing against Tillman, he’s earned the promotion after a solid month with the Tides, but I’m just a little worried about how his stuff will translate in the big leagues. I think Tillman is one of the Orioles biggest trade pieces and I fear that his value will quickly be diminished if he gets hit around during this call up.

Major League hitters killed Tillman’s secondary pitches and I’ve heard that he still has some work to do on his change up, which particularly worries me. I don’t doubt his (non-moving) fastball, but tend to think that it is much more effective against lower level hitters.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

8 Comments

  1. Dave

    July 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    The problem he had in the past was that he couldn’t throw his curve for consistent strikes. So hitters would sit on his fastball. As you mentioned, he has a pretty straight fastball so even with great velocity big leaguers can tee off when they are sitting on the fastball. If he can get the curve over now, he could be really successful, otherwise he’ll be the hard throwing BP pitcher he’s been in the past.
    As for his trade value, I think most of the majors are aware of his track record in the majors and so they’re already leary of him as a prospect.

  2. Rusty Payne

    July 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    It is always about fastball command. Especially with Tillman.

  3. Zachary

    July 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    On the plus side, Tillman is facing the Mariners. No better opportunity to get some easy MLB innings, which might actually increase his trade value.

  4. MGW

    July 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I was thinking the same thing, Zachary.

    I bet the Orioles move him before the deadline and this was a great team for him to face.

  5. spy

    July 5, 2012 at 8:17 am

    It would be a mistake to move Tillman,,,,,strong young pitchers are hard to come by especially the ones with 97 mph fastballs,,,,,,,,,,

    • MGW

      July 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Gotta go against you on this one, spy. I truly believe that the club has seen enough and given up on Tillman, otherwise they would have brought him up weeks ago when this pitching meltdown started. I think they left him in Norfolk to pad his stats so they could build his trade value and didn’t want to expose him to major league hitters who would tattoo his straight fast ball and wait on his poor breaking pitch. He was throwing 94-97 yesterday and by all accounts had good movement, but he is one of the few trade chips they have and if they want to pursue a Matt Garza, they will have to give up some value, whether just perceived or not, to get value. I think they will move Tillman and honestly, I think hey should, while his alue is at its peak.

  6. spy

    July 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Hey MGW , down deep inside I know you are correct , I just hate to see that 97mph FB leave,,,,,,,,,,,,,I also know it doesn’t have much movement on it but a savvy pitching coach can change that a bit by altering the grip,,,,,,,,,,I hate to see it leave the O’s future rotation or long relief from the pen when I’m not sure you will get anything much better,,,,,,,,,,do you honestly thing they can get Garza ?
    Hey I like Matt but I also like this group of young guns the O’s now have and truly believe they all could develop together into a force to be dealt with in the near future,,,,,,,,,,lets try to get two corner infielders that can actually use their gloves and hit a bit ,,,,,now if they can get that in return , I’m all in………….

  7. 9inchnails

    July 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Keep Tillman, as soon as we trade him , he will turn into another Curt Schilling!