"Rookies Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken and David Hernandez are already part of the rotation, and Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Chris Tillman, 21, appears to be the next man up if another injury occurs or the struggles of Berken or Rich Hill persist. Tillman threw 7 2/3 shutout innings Friday, striking out seven and allowing just four hits and a walk. He improved to 6-5 with a 2.69 ERA.
"I've always said, you want to make sure when they get here, they have a reasonable chance to succeed, but sometimes events dictate what happens," said MacPhail, not speaking specifically about Tillman. "Things don't always go as planned. Things change. We have to go with events and make the best decisions that we can in the context of the current times."
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
First Brad Bergesen. Then Nolan Reimold. Then Matt Wieters. Followed by David Hernandez. Is Chris Tillman going to be the Orioles next young stud to get the call to the big show?
Given the Orioles current starting rotation, it's hard to justify keeping Tillman in the minors much longer. It might be too early to give up on Rich Hill, but he has shown next to nothing so far. And while Jason Berken is not as bad as his 6.25 ERA suggests, his upside is relatively limited. It would not be surprising to see Berken continue to struggle at the big league level. And to top it all off, the Orioles ace is Jeremy Guthrie and his 5.20 ERA. It's safe to say that the Orioles starting rotation is a mess.
So should the Orioles call up Chris Tillman? He is certain to be an upgrade over at least two pitchers in the Orioles current rotation and his performance in the minors suggests that Tillman has a very bright future ahead of him. Tillman's arrival would create quite a stir for Orioles fans, who have to be feeling optimistic about this team's future.
On the other hand, what do the Orioles have to lose by having Tillman in the minors for the remainder of the season? This team has no chance of making the playoffs this season and needs to remain patient. The Orioles' focus has to be on the 2010 and beyond so if they are not 100% sure that Tillman is ready for the show, then they should get him all the seasoning he can get. Simply put, Tillman is too talented for the Orioles to rush him through the system.
If Hill or Berken continue to struggle and the O's believe Tillman is ready, then I see no reason why he should not be in Baltimore at some point.
Posted by Jorge Says No! at 11:05 AM