It’s looking like Chris Tillman is going to be missing for more than just the first week or two of the regular season. The Orioles starter was originally scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday, which was pushed back to Sunday. When Tillman finally started throwing, he suffered shoulder discomfort during long toss and never made it to a mound before being shut down.
An earlier timeline that was optimistically talking about how the Orioles wouldn’t need a fifth starter until April 15 and maybe Tillman could be the pitcher on that day is now not looking very good. This is bad news so fresh that they haven’t even had time to come up with a new prognosis, but we’re probably not talking Tillman throwing again tomorrow and suddenly everything is OK.
When the weekend started, Tillman was supposed to do his throwing yesterday. That was pushed back a day due to what was termed joint soreness due to a reaction to taking antibiotics. Which sounded more serious than just a one day delay to me, but then again, what do I know?
Regardless, Tillman was cleared today, and he started throwing today. According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, Tillman was shut down after about ten throws of long toss. That scheduled bullpen session will just have to keep waiting.
It’s not encouraging. This whole thing has seemed to be the second appearance of the same shoulder problem that had Tillman on the disabled list last August. You just never know with this stuff. Although Tillman received a PRP injection in the shoulder over the offseason, that doesn’t seem to have done the trick for getting him in game shape by mid-April.
Now, as if there wasn’t enough to be worried about with the starting rotation already, the one guy whose recent track record of success made him the surest bet is now the surest bet to be on the shelf for an unknown period of time. Are you ready to see Mike Wright get some starts in his absence? Tyler Wilson? Gabriel Ynoa? Jayson Aquino?
If one of them is going to start on April 15 instead, you’ve got about a month to get ready for that. It’s almost certainly not going to be Tillman, and until there’s a new timetable that Tillman is able to stay on, we shouldn’t expect him to be back soon after that, either.