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Chris Tillman Going To The Orioles' Bullpen

August 5, 2017
BALTIMORE-- Chris Tillman is going to the bullpen. Manager Buck Showalter has decided the veteran right-hander, who is 1-7 with an 8.10 ERA in 15 starts, will pitch in relief for the first time in his major league career.
 
Showalter said Tillman would be available in the bullpen Aug. 6.
 
“I talked to him [Aug. 4] for a while,” Showalter said. The move was discussed with pitching coach Roger McDowell and bullpen coach Alan Mills.
 
“It’s done good things for [right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez] and some other people in the past.”
 
Showalter said there wasn’t anything wrong with Tillman.
 
“I know Chris and talking to him, physically he feels great, feels good. That’s been frustrating for all of us,” Showalter said. “So we’re trying to figure out some way to try to get him back. I know, like they’ve been doing all year, they made some more adjustments and see if he feels better.”
 
Showalter is hoping Tillman will find it a positive experience.
 
“Ubaldo seemed to find a way to make it productive. I know Chris will, too,” Showalter said. “Because those guys are going to need to pitch. They’re going to need to do well.”
 
The Orioles will not replace Tillman in the starting rotation. For now, they’ll go with five starters.
 
“If we feel like there’s somebody that needs to be skipped or needs extra time, we have the potential to fill that from our bullpen, provided we don’t make an adjustment in the bullpen,” Showalter said.
 
For now, the Orioles will maintain a three-man bench, though Showalter would like to return to four reserves.
 
Showalter has long downplayed the idea of Tillman in the bullpen because it took so long for him to get ready.
 
“It requires a little foresight on our part in the dugout,” Showalter said.  
 
TRUMBO SHOULD BE READY: Outfielder/designated hitter Mark Trumbo, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right rib cage, should be ready when he’s eligible to return  Aug. 9.
 
Because the Orioles are going to the West Coast to begin a 10-day road trip  Aug. 7, Showalter doesn’t want Trumbo going on a brief rehab assignment and then flying commercially to the coast.
 
“He’s not so far removed from playing,” Showalter said. “Unless we have some type of setback today or  tomorrow, he’s going to travel with us  tomorrow night, and I don’t see any reason yet why he won’t be activated [ Aug. 9]."
 
JOSEPH BETTER: Catcher Caleb Joseph’s right hand is much better, a day after he was hit on it and ruled out on a checked swing.
 
“It’s sore. X-Rays came back negative,” Joseph said. “We’re going to continue to treat it. The bones feel good. I think it’s the swelling that feels tight, so it’s just getting the swelling out. Once you get the swelling out, we’ll be all right.”
 
Joseph is expected to be available if needed Aug. 5.
 
Left fielder Trey Mancini is back in the lineup after missing a game when he fouled a ball off his kneecap.
 
ORIOLES ADD INFIELDER: The Orioles acquired minor league infielder Brallan Perez from the Texas Rangers in exchange for International Bonus Signing Slots.
 
The 21-year-old Perez is batting .270 with 3 home runs and 18 RBIs in 69 games at three minor league levels this season.
 
Perez will report to High-A Frederick.
 
“The Orioles have been working diligently to add middle infielders over the last few months and Perez is one of several talented middle infielders to recently join the organization,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette wrote in a text message.
 
“He is young, has solid defensive skills at 2B and SS, good speed, excellent plate discipline and contact skill," Duquette said. "He puts the bat on the ball, and as he matures, if he gets stronger, our people believe he can contribute at the major league level.”