I’m not so sure.
I am a huge Chris Tillman fan. HUGE. The few times I have seen him pitch live, in Norfolk, he has been dominating. I was really bummed when he was beat out by David Hernandez for the 5th spot in the rotation during Spring Training. I was bummed by his slow start in AAA. I was elated by his no hitter and his eventual return to form. So. I want to be excited about yesterday’s performance.
The stat line was fine. Some would say the stat line was good.
5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K
It’s how the 2 runs were scored that bothered me. It was 2 home runs, something that plagued Tillman last season. Something, I’m concerned he didn’t fix in his time down in the minors.
O’s Blogger and Numbers Junkie, Daniel Moroz, explained it like this-
Tillman gave up quite a few flyballs though (and those two longballs), which one would expect given that his fastball wass still pretty straight, of the high riding variety, and was thrown up in the zone. He used the pitch a lot, and didn’t seem to throw a real cutter. Off-speed wise, his curveball was still awesome and the change-up looked good, though he only threw the latter s7 times.
He is 22 and will continue to make mistakes. My goal for Tillman this season is to see some improvement. I’d like to see the cutter. I’d like to see better location on the fastball. I’d like to see a better mix that included the change-up. The O’s need something to smile about. Hopefully, that can be Chris Tillman by the end of the season.