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2018 Chris Tillman


Il BuonO

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1 minute ago, Hank Scorpio said:

I admire Bordick’s ability to have his personal affinity for someone override his ability to see reality.

I don’t know... I guess you can’t expect a play by play guy to give his actual opinion if it’s negative. I feel like Palmer does an excellent job walking the line.

Joe Angel says hello.

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9 minutes ago, O's are Legends said:

Bordick was thrilled, with 4 runs given up through 5 and a third and runners on 1st and 2nd, he said another fine start for the O's rotation.

Even when Chris is "good" he is bad.  His ERA for the day was 8.82 and his WHIP was 1.74.

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Just now, elgordo said:

Joe Angel says hello.

Well yeah, that goes unsaid as far as I’m concerned. He’s been there for me throughout most of my baseball listening life. I remember listening to he and Miller when I was a 6 or 7 year old kid and wanting to be a play by play guy when I grew up.

Uh, I’m not a play by play guy. Far from it.

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1 hour ago, elgordo said:

Joe Angel says hello.

Yeah, I've heard him get down right irate about some player's' performances, manager's decisions, calls that go against another team, etc.

I think Ben McDonald is by far the most underrated of all the O's announcers.  Him and Joe Angel on the radio, or him and Palmer on TV (and Gary can hangout too and lose his $&%# when necessary) would be the best combos.

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1 hour ago, wildcard said:

Chris' problems are most in the first inning  or two.  I don't see him as a reliever.

Yeah, I was trying to be nice. I don't think Tillman should pitch at all, but he certainly is not a starter at this point. He can't continue putting runners on like he does and get away with it.

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Well, with Cobb now not expected to pitch for us until next weekend we should be seeing at least one more Tillman start. 

I normally don't root for our players to do poorly, but in this instance I just hope Tillman is completely ineffective in his next start so they DFA him already.  The starts like today where he hangs in there is probably justification enough for them to keep him in the rotation.   The sooner he is out of there, the better we will be in the long run and the less games where you can mark us down for a loss before he even takes the rubber. 

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What I noticed today about Chris's start is that he's trying to use his fastball, but the velocity is no longer there. There's no movement on the pitch (unless it sails wide for a ball or wild pitch). If he wants to become an effective pitcher again,  he's going to have to learn different pitches. I saw that he was trying to use a slider, but that wasn't doing it either, at least not yet. It takes a lot of time and effort for a MLB pitcher to regain effectiveness once his velocity has faded. He might be able to succeed by taking months or even years and a lot of coaching.  

By the way, Tillman finished the 2017 season pitching long relief out of the bullpen. It was low leverage but as I recall, he wasn't bad. Perhaps what he could do is spend time with Alan Mills learning different pitches and command of each of them. And use these pitches in long relief for the rest of the year. He should emerge as a better pitcher and perhaps be extended.

I'm not yet clear what the team is trying to achieve. Are they trying to make a run this year?  If so, then Tillman needs to be DFA'd and either agree to be outrighted to. Norfolk or else be traded to a rebuilding team.

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Today was the first look I’ve had at Tillman in 2018.   I didn’t see him in spring training, and I missed him in his first start, too.   

Overall, what I saw was somewhat disappointing, but there were a few encouraging things as well.   It was a mixed bag, more bad than good, but not a complete disaster either. Based on this start, I’d still give him another couple turns before cutting bait.    Here are my observations, bearing in mind that I’m no scout and I’m not particularly good at picking up on mechanical things.

1.   To state the obvious, Tillman’s velocity is down.   He sat 89-90 again today, touching 91 once or twice.    At that velocity, he doesn’t have much margin for error with his fastball, plus the speed differential between his fastball and slider and changeup isn’t optimal (6 mph, where 10 mph is the goal).    

2.   He had trouble commanding the fastball down in the strike zone.    He used to have that nice downhill plane and his pitches at the knees were tough to handle, but 80% of the time those pitches ended up in the happy zone between the belt and the thighs.

3.   At the same time, he did ride some pitches intentionally up in the zone quite nicely, for example on the pitch where he struck out Gregorius.   It seemed like even at 89-90, those pitches at the top of the zone have good late life and Tillman can get it past guys.

4.    For the most part, I thought his breaking stuff looked good.   The only problem I saw was that the Yankees seemed to pick it up well and laid off a number of sliders that just by the location and movement could have been out pitches.   Stanton’s first walk was an example of this.   He got down 0-2 and laid off three straight sliders that were in pretty good spots.    Still, Tillman threw 31 of 43 sliders for strikes and got five whiffs on the pitch.   (That’s a lot of sliders!).

5.   There were a number of times where Tillman yanked pitches way left or bounced fastballs two feet in front of the plate.   Sisco did a nice job keeping the balls in front of him.   It seems like once every six batters or so Tillman suddenly has no idea where the ball is going.   

6.   On the one hand, Tillman got away with some bad pitches, especially in the first two innings.   On the other hand, three of the five runs scored on plays Chris Davis couldn’t quite make: a ground single past a diving Davis in the second for two runs, and the pop fly to shallow right that popped out of Davis’ glove in the sixth to allow the fifth run to score.   

7.   I thought Buck left Tillman in the game at least one batter too long.   Tillman was clearly tired and losing command and Buck pushed him a little too far.

Overall, I can’t say I was encouraged, but it wasn’t all awful either.   I’m willing to go with Tillman just a bit longer, and Cobb won’t be up during the next turn through the rotation anyway.   

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Yes, there is one more turn through the rotation to go. Mike Wright is up next, and we will see how he does. When Cobb is ready to return one of Wright/Tillman has to leave the rotation at least. If they stash one of those guys in the bullpen, somebody else would have to go. It will be interesting to say the least to see how this plays out. Wright could make it an easy decision if he pitches really well in his next two starts and Tillman remains about the same in his next turn. 

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15 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Today was the first look I’ve had at Tillman in 2018.   I didn’t see him in spring training, and I missed him in his first start, too.   

Overall, what I saw was somewhat disappointing, but there were a few encouraging things as well.   It was a mixed bag, more bad than good, but not a complete disaster either. Based on this start, I’d still give him another couple turns before cutting bait.    Here are my observations, bearing in mind that I’m no scout and I’m not particularly good at picking up on mechanical things.

1.   To state the obvious, Tillman’s velocity is down.   He sat 89-90 again today, touching 91 once or twice.    At that velocity, he doesn’t have much margin for error with his fastball, plus the speed differential between his fastball and slider and changeup isn’t optimal (6 mph, where 10 mph is the goal).    

2.   He had trouble commanding the fastball down in the strike zone.    He used to have that nice downhill plane and his pitches at the knees were tough to handle, but 80% of the time those pitches ended up in the happy zone between the belt and the thighs.

3.   At the same time, he did ride some pitches intentionally up in the zone quite nicely, for example on the pitch where he struck out Gregorius.   It seemed like even at 89-90, those pitches at the top of the zone have good late life and Tillman can get it past guys.

4.    For the most part, I thought his breaking stuff looked good.   The only problem I saw was that the Yankees seemed to pick it up well and laid off a number of sliders that just by the location and movement could have been out pitches.   Stanton’s first walk was an example of this.   He got down 0-2 and laid off three straight sliders that were in pretty good spots.    Still, Tillman threw 31 of 43 sliders for strikes and got five whiffs on the pitch.   (That’s a lot of sliders!).

5.   There were a number of times where Tillman yanked pitches way left or bounced fastballs two feet in front of the plate.   Sisco did a nice job keeping the balls in front of him.   It seems like once every six batters or so Tillman suddenly has no idea where the ball is going.   

6.   On the one hand, Tillman got away with some bad pitches, especially in the first two innings.   On the other hand, three of the five runs scored on plays Chris Davis couldn’t quite make: a ground single past a diving Davis in the second for two runs, and the pop fly to shallow right that popped out of Davis’ glove in the sixth to allow the fifth run to score.   

7.   I thought Buck left Tillman in the game at least one batter too long.   Tillman was clearly tired and losing command and Buck pushed him a little too far.

Overall, I can’t say I was encouraged, but it wasn’t all awful either.   I’m willing to go with Tillman just a bit longer, and Cobb won’t be up during the next turn through the rotation anyway.   

For some reason, and I don't profess to know it, he is unable to get on top of his fastball.  He is dropping his elbow, and his release point is too high, and not far enough out in front.  The wild pitches come because he is aware of this, and will try to overcompensate to hit his spots down and away, particularly to right handed hitters. 

Until he can get on top of his fastball, he will not be effective IMO.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, mrbig1 said:

High pitch count, Walks, and give up home runs. He doesn't seem to be getting any better.  maybe a trip to Bowie will do him some good.

He didn’t really have a high pitch count heading into the sixth.   I think he was at 84 though five.   

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