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Chris Tillman for the AAA-Tides 6/1


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Tillman has a 81 ERA+ through 166 major league innings and is 23. Other pitchers who had an ERA+ between 71 and 91 in their first 100-250 innings around that age include: HOFer Rube Marquard, Arthur Rhodes, Carl Pavano, Jeff Suppan, Bill Wegman, Odalis Perez, Homer Bailey, Jim Lonborg, Joaquin Andujar, Esteban Loiaza, Charlie Liebrandt, Steve Stone, Pete Richert, Bob Walk, Bill Swift, Al Leiter, Wade Miller, Jason Schmidt, JR Richard, Clay Buchholz, Dick Bosman, Jamie Moyer, Carlos Marmol, Bronson Arroyo, and Nick Altrock. There's a Cooperstown plaque, multiple 20-win seasons, an ERA title or two, a few 300K seasons, a few 20-year careers, and at least one $100M contract in there. I wouldn't count him out just yet.

Drungo, how many have bounced back and forth between the majors and minors as much as Tillman has thus far?

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Let's look at Buccholz.......since the Red Sox do everything right and we all wish we were as smart as them. He made his ML debut in August 2007.

In 2008 Buccholz started 15 games in the big leagues and 11 games in AA/AAA.

In 2009 he started in 16 games in the big leagues and 16 in AAA.

In 2010 he was basically in the majors for good.

Tillman has been up and down in 2009 and 2010......and now just sent down again in 2011.

So i'd say their paths were fairly comparable up until this year.....we shall see. If he fails to distinguish himself at Norfolk this year, I think he'd have to put into the 'minor league depth' category.

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Let's look at Buccholz.......since the Red Sox do everything right and we all wish we were as smart as them. He made his ML debut in August 2007.

In 2008 Buccholz started 15 games in the big leagues and 11 games in AA/AAA.

In 2009 he started in 16 games in the big leagues and 16 in AAA.

In 2010 he was basically in the majors for good.

Tillman has been up and down in 2009 and 2010......and now just sent down again in 2011.

So i'd say their paths were fairly comparable up until this year.....we shall see. If he fails to distinguish himself at Norfolk this year, I think he'd have to put into the 'minor league depth' category.

I think people tend to underestimate the churn and ups and downs in a typical MLB career, especially for pitchers. I picked Bob Walk's name off the list, kind of at random. He came up at 23, and pitched kinda crappy for the Phillies. Got traded to the Braves just before the '81 strike, pitched kinda crappy for them, too. Spent a lot of time in AAA from 23-28. Then was a pretty fair swingman/5th starter at 29 and 30 for the Pirates, then threw 200 innings of a 2.71 at 31. Ended up with over 100 MLB wins - which would place him 9th on the all time Orioles list, had he been an Oriole.

If you apply the Chris Tillman rule to Bob Walk, we'd have declared his career 100% dead at the age of 26, when he has a major league record of 363 innings across 63 starts to a 80 ERA+.

I'd be willing to bet there are more Bob Walks in MLB history than guys who just came up at 22, peaked at 27, and declined into their 30s.

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Where does Buccholz top out on the gun. My bet is mid 90's. I also would take a wild guess and say his velocity hasn't gone south in the last two years like Tillman. I hope the kid gets his head on straight, but he has shown no ability to fix his mechanics, which in turn affect his pitch count and his BB to K ratio. Oh, and speed too.

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Let's look at Buccholz.......since the Red Sox do everything right and we all wish we were as smart as them. He made his ML debut in August 2007.

In 2008 Buccholz started 15 games in the big leagues and 11 games in AA/AAA.

In 2009 he started in 16 games in the big leagues and 16 in AAA.

In 2010 he was basically in the majors for good.

Tillman has been up and down in 2009 and 2010......and now just sent down again in 2011.

So i'd say their paths were fairly comparable up until this year.....we shall see. If he fails to distinguish himself at Norfolk this year, I think he'd have to put into the 'minor league depth' category.

This is a very interesting comparison. Tillman made his major league debut at the end of July 09, which is very comparable to Buchholz coming up in August two years earlier. He's been up and down the following two seasons, which again is comparable to Buchholz. Hopefully Tillman's '12 will be comparable to Buchholz's '10!

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Sorry but Tillman isn't Buchholtz. Nowhere near the pure stuff which actually has a lot to do with Buchholz success. He's still not a great pitcher as such but he's getting by with his stuff.

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Where does Buccholz top out on the gun. My bet is mid 90's. I also would take a wild guess and say his velocity hasn't gone south in the last two years like Tillman. I hope the kid gets his head on straight, but he has shown no ability to fix his mechanics, which in turn affect his pitch count and his BB to K ratio. Oh, and speed too.

He has most definitely shown an ability to fix his mechanics. He's purposefully dialed back on his velocity so he can control his pitches better. He's throwing more changeups and curveballs which is resulting in more strikeouts. He has better control which results in less walks. His problem is that he's throwing too many pitches. He's not finishing hitters off. I think he feels that he gets in situations where he HAS to throw a fastball so he doesn't walk someone, and it's usually in the middle of the plate.

Either way, his strikeouts are up, his home runs are down, and his walks are down. But the hits are still there and he's not pitching deep into games. I think he needs to work on arm strength more and trusting his stuff.

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  • 4 weeks later...

.

The game is still in progress, but Tillman is done for the day. Here are his numbers:

TILLMAN AAA-NORFOLK

IP: 5

R: 5

H: 7

SO: 3

BB: 3

Pitches: 92 (55 Strikes, 37 Balls)

NOTE: The opponent hit 3 HR's off of Tillman today in what is a notorious pitcher's stadium (Harbor Park).

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More evidence he needs to say in the minors.

Hope we can get him back on track.

Me too. As mediocre-to-below average as his numbers at AAA-Norfolk have been, I still haven't given up hope completely. :)

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At this point, you have to exclude Tillman from any future plans and be plesantly suprised if he is able to figure it out and make something of himself.

To an extent, yes. But you also have some people who think it was a travesty that he was sent down. Those people need to recheck themselves if they think they fancy themselves a valid evaluator.

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