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Orioles' Chris Tillman Waits For His First Relief Appearance

August 12, 2017
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Chris Tillman was sent to the bullpen after his rocky start Aug. 3, and the right-hander has yet to pitch in relief.
 
Tillman, who has a 1-7 record and 8.10 ERA, says he’s ready to pitch, but he hasn’t even warmed up for a game.
 
"I’ve just been going out and doing I normally do, going out and playing catch and try to stay ready. It’s new to me," Tillman said. "I’m doing my best to get my body ready."
 
For Tillman, he’s thinking of it as a temporary, and not a long-term, assignment. There’s a difference between him and the others in the bullpen.
 
"Most of those guys have been out there a long time. That’s their job," Tillman said. "I'm there because I haven’t pitched to my capabilities, and to kind of get back on track and get where I need to be again."
 
The next time Tillman pitches in relief will be the first time. Even in the minor leagues, he only has six relief appearances to his credit. Everything, including watching a game from the bullpen, is difficult.
 
"It’s kind of a whole new process," Tillman said. "A whole new perspective. It’s hard to see the game, first of all. Hard to watch, hard to see what’s going on. I guess you get the gist of it."
 
Manager Buck Showalter, who made the decision to send Tillman to the bullpen, hasn’t found the right spot to use the 29-year-old.
 
"We’re trying to win baseball games every night. If him pitching helps us with that, he’ll do that," Showalter said. "It’s that time of year. It’s always that time of year. [If] Chris has an element that we’re in need of that given night, he'll pitch. I think he’ll start. We’ll have a need for him starting again."
 
Tillman knows the feeling will be unique once he trots in from a major league bullpen for the first time.
 
"It’s going to be different. That’s for sure," Tillman said.
 
JANISH TO RETIRE: Infielder Paul Janish, who's spent parts of the last three seasons with the Orioles, will retire at the end of the season to join the Rice University coaching staff in Houston.
 
Janish, who is 34, has hit .196 in 42 games with the Orioles from 2015-17. He’s currently at Triple-A Norfolk.
 
He’s two classes short of his degree and has postponed enrolling in the fall semester each of the last two seasons when he was called up by the Orioles.
 
"He’s a quality human being. His priorities are a good husband, a good father, and then try to be a good shortstop," Showalter said. "He’s got things in order."
 
Janish has also played with Cincinnati and Atlanta.
 
HARDY REHAB DATE NOT SET: Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who has missed nearly two months with a broken right wrist, and has been traveling with the Orioles, will soon begin a rehab assignment, but Showalter doesn’t have a date in mind, yet.
 
Hardy is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 18, but won’t.
 
"We’re hoping not too long after. He’s progressing right on schedule," Showalter said. “He’s getting a little better every day…The bone itself has healed. It’s the other stuff that we have to get back in playing shape."
 
While Tim Beckham has been outstanding in Hardy’s place, Showalter still misses him.
 
"It’s been a loss for us," Showalter said.