Short Term Impact: Over his last four starts, Tillman appears to be coming around after an up and down beginning to 2015. He went six or more innings in three of those four starts and has not allowed more than two runs in any of those starts.
Long Term Prediction: Chris Tillman, whether he wanted it or not, is the ace of this rotation. Miguel Gonzalez should not even be a number two in any rotation but that is his place in the Orioles depth chart. Gonzalez hasn’t pitched out of the seventh inning in seven starts. Ubaldo Jimenez gave fans flashbacks to those days in Colorado this season but cannot be counted on, just look at his last start in Detroit.
Wei-Yin Chen is a bit of a “who knows.” He is serviceable but will not blow any batter in any lineup away. As a number four starter he is a good fit but that assumes there are three better above him and that is just not the case.
Offense is no issue in Baltimore. They are sixth in MLB in runs scored, fifth in home runs and sixth in team average. But, the team cannot expect the offense to carry them every night Enter Chris Tillman. Every now and then the offense needs to know they can be off and still win a game.
The Orioles are four games behind the Yankees and within striking distance in a weak American League East. If Tillman can keep it up then the Orioles have a real chance. The next six games are all on the road against the two teams sandwiching them in the standings, The Yankees and the Tamp Bay Rays. Tillman must win his game in the Bronx.
Tillman will also have starts against the underachieving Athletics twice, the Mariners, and the Mets. He will have to win all those games to keep pace. If you map it out over the next two months almost all his starts are starts that he should win and he needs to win almost all of them for the Orioles to have a chance. It is time to see if he really is the “ace” of the staff. Good luck Chris.
Look for more Major League Baseball Impact News like MLB Impact News: Chris Tillman Is Key to Orioles 2015 Playoff Chances from Sports Unbiased.