Alex: I read your piece on Chris Tillman. Excellent info. However, if the Orioles really thought he was hurt, would they not just DL him? I am not a doctor, but that would seem logical.
First, thanks for the compliments. Second, that is what I cannot figure out. I just see a drop in velocity, loss of command, and change in mechanics as compensation for an injury. Velocity can leave a pitcher, but in his first start this year he had an average fast ball velocity of 94. Now its down to 90. A four mile per hour decrease over the course of 12 starts seems a little outlandish for simply natural decline. That combined with the loss of command and the lowering of the arm slot led me to the injury conclusion. I think it is possible that the Orioles and Tillman feel that he cannot injure himself any further and that he can work through these problems. Buck seems to give more leeway to Tillman than any other pitcher on the roster. Maybe when Gonzalez returns, and the Orioles have seemingly five other viable candidates for the rotation, they DL Tillman to rehab whatever ails him. Otherwise, the Orioles have to question what they have in Tillman if he cannot regain his velocity and command and is not injured.
- Alex Conway
Do you see outfielders switching out their gloves with long pole lacrosse sticks in the foreseeable future?
No, but I think Nelson Cruz should petition the MLB to allow him to have one, so I don’t have to watch him lumber so far in the outfield.
- Alex Conway
When will Christian Walker and Dariel Alvarez be promoted to Triple A? They both seem to be dominating Double A pitching.
A question that is often asked to me. Honestly, It probably makes little difference whether they are in AA or AAA. Once you get to that stage of the minors, the only real difference is that AAA has more veterans and higher floor guys, rather than AA with more prospects but higher ceiling guys.
Walker is a guy that has played well this season, and will need to continue hitting well for as long as he stays a first basemen. I think you keep him at AA all year, especially since he likely does not help the big league club in 2014. Chris Davis and Steve Pearce have the Orioles covered.
Alvarez is a different case for me. He has completely altered his game from last season, and is using the plus bat speed better at the plate. He is waiting on secondary pitches and this is making for better and more efficient contact. While he still has a poor approach, it’s a much better overall game. He is a little older, so maybe a move to AAA would be a good idea since he could actually use the experience seeing the crafty pitchers that throw a lot of junk.
- Tucker Blair
Janser Severino. What do you think about him?
The Dominican righty was the opening day starter for Aberdeen, and tossed 6.0 shutout innings with 9 strikeouts. He is old for the NYPL, but there are a few reasons why he is still there. He cannot repeat his delivery. Severino has a toothpick body with fast arm speed but can’t replicate anything mechanically or in his secondary arsenal. I watched him on several occasions last season in which he had a different arm slot for every pitch in an entire inning. When at his best, Severino can touch 93 mph with late, tailing action. The change and curve need work, but both look fringe-average to average when at his best. It’s not surprising to see the Orioles keeping Severino around, but the mechanics must improve for him to have any shot at full season ball.
- Tucker Blair