Surprise! When the Orioles had a little pre-game ceremony before Sunday's game honoring their All-Stars, Chris Tillman took the field along with the four position players who had already been named to the team. This sounded like the Orioles playing a practical joke on Tillman, but no. They had a jersey for him and everything, and it turns out that he has been named to the American League All-Star team.
What in the world is this about? Pitchers who start Sunday will not be pitching in the All-Star game, so replacements are named to the roster. All-Star Justin Verlander starts Sunday, so he will not be eligible to pitch in the game, and will be replaced on the roster.
Who else to turn to but the player who is 23rd in the AL in ERA? That would be Tillman. He's also fourth in the AL in wins, with 11, and as our own duck wrote earlier today, he could end up winning 20 games before the season is over.
Tillman is the first Orioles starting pitcher to make the All-Star team since Mike Mussina did so in 1999. Tillman's selection to the team marks the first time that the Orioles have had five All-Stars since 1997, when the players on the team were Roberto Alomar, Brady Anderson, Jimmy Key, Mussina, Cal Ripken Jr., and Randy Myers.
Does Tillman deserve to be on the team? Who cares? He's on it. That's awesome.