Chris Tillman is a great example of "better real life than fantasy pitcher." Three of his last four seasons have been solid ERA-wise despite a steady low-to-mid 4.00s FIP. The bottom line has been an average of 3.90 ERA in 190 innings with a modest 2.2 K/BB ratio supporting it. He's never posted a strikeout rate of 8.0 K/9 or better, nor has his walk rate ever been better than average. He is at the mercy of his BABIP and LOB rates, which landed at .293 and 68 percent, respectively, in 2015 when his ERA soared to 4.99. Perhaps most interesting is that he has deep, useful secondary arsenal. His three reliable secondaries have ranged from average to great, but they're usually supported by a mediocre-at-best fastball (except in 2014, which ended up being his best season). At 28, Tillman is unlikely to jump another level. He's the mid-rotation arm we've seen the last four years, best deployed in AL-only leagues, or better left for someone else's team.
Tillman (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Sunday while he's with the Orioles during their road series against the Yankees, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports. Tillman's performance likely will determine whether he'll be activated to start Tuesday against the Red Sox. Either way, Tillman is worth a pickup in deep fantasy leagues if he wasn't stashed before Opening Day. The right-hander probably isn't worth using yet, but he eventually could rediscover the form with which he's teased a breakout over the last few years.
Tillman (shoulder), who pitched what was scheduled to be his final rehab start Thursday, will join the Orioles on their trip to face the Yankees on Friday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. The Orioles will decide if he's ready to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday. Tillman allowed six runs (four earned) in five innings for High-A Frederick on Thursday, but Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun said the numbers don't reflect the positives, including Tillman's location. The right-hander would face the Red Sox if he's reinstated Tuesday. While he may not be a great option to use that day, fantasy players should see if he's on the waiver wire in deep leagues.
Tillman's second rehab start with Double-A Bowie went off without a hitch Saturday, and he will make what's expected to be his final rehab outing Thursday for High-A Frederick, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. Tillman allowed three consecutive hits to open Saturday's game -- all against left-handed hitters. After having a fastball blasted over the right-field fence in the second inning, Tillman settled in and retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced. On a brighter note, the righty saw his fastball velocity tick up from his previous assignment, and appears to be on track to pitch for the Orioles in Boston on May 2.
Tillman (shoulder) will make a minor-league rehab start with Double-A Bowie on Saturday, Rich Dubroff of PressBoxonline reports. Rain is in the forecast for High-A Frederick's game Saturday, so the Orioles will have Tillman take the hill for their Double-A affiliate instead. This outing marks Tillman's second rehab start of the season as he works his way back from an offseason shoulder issue. He threw 42 pitches over 2.2 innings in his first rehab start.
Tillman (shoulder) is expected to transfer to High-A Frederick on Saturday for his next rehab start, and the Orioles are hopeful he'll be ready to make his regular-season debut on May 2 in Boston, Rich Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. In his first rehab start for Double-A Bowie, the right-hander dealt 42 pitches over 2.2 innings while watching his fastball top out at 90 mph. Tillman hopes to push his pitch count up to 55 when he throws Saturday, but he hasn't been told anything official yet. It's rare to find a staff's ace available on waivers, yet the 29-year-old has slipped through the cracks in many mixed leagues due to his injury. Now is the time to scoop up Tillman -- who won 16 games while boasting a 7.3 K/9 over 30 starts last season -- off waivers if he's still available.
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