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Is it time to turn Tillman into a late inning specialist?

Is it time to turn Tillman into a late inning specialist?

PostPost #1 by Don » May 5th, 2011, 2:58 pm

I wonder out loud if Chris Tillman should be converted into a 6th, 7th, 8th, or even closer role for the Orioles long term. It might be in the club's and Tillman's best interests for him to remain a starter, but could his most effective role be in relief? He can pitch, but I do not know if he is trying to locate, hold back to conserve engergy, etc...

What is missing from him right now has to be in his head, as it is clearly nothing physical (as far as we know). I really want Tillman to taste sucess at the major league level, but sometimes your best prospects do not make the best starters on the team. His stuff might be better suited with an approach of "grip it and rip it", which is a mentality for the bullpen and not as a starting pitcher.

I think the Orioles will continue to press the starting role because he shows enough promise in the minors to throw a no-hitter at will, but I have not seen this on a consistent basis at this level.
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Re: Is it time to turn Tillman into a late inning specialist

PostPost #2 by Old Sneakers » May 7th, 2011, 11:11 pm

It's really difficult to dispute that something here has to change soon in regards to Chris Tillman. Yes, he is still young but at this point he's had enough major league starts and innings to begin making strides in his game. That simply hasn't happened yet.

Sending him to Norfolk isn't the answer. Should we petition for some sort of hybrid rotation where he and Brad Bergesen shuttle in and out of the bullpen and back to the rotation? It's an option once Brian Matusz is back. I know there are politics in play. He's been hyped by many as far more than a trade chip in the Erik Bedard trade, but it has not panned out. I know I am beginning to think David Hernandez was a better pitcher. Yes as a starter, and I remember well the tough times in 2009.

I don't think the new pitching coach is to blame either. This is what he was doing with the old staff as well. Mediocrity seems a poor goal in place for a guy so young and presumably so talented. I don't know what the answer is.
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Re: Is it time to turn Tillman into a late inning specialist

PostPost #3 by Jordan Tuwiner » May 8th, 2011, 7:34 pm

Not yet.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?pl ... position=P

The fastball velocity does need to pick up, but stats wise Tillman is posting the best numbers of his brief career. His FIP stands at 3.48, which I believe is the best on the team.

His .361 BABIP is bound to drop into the .300-.310 range, where it's been for most of his career. A good number of the hits Tillman has allowed this season have been weakly hit balls that either slipped through the infield or should have, and would have been succesfully into converted into outs if the O's had better defenders.

We haven't seen the best of Tillman yet.
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