The Baltimore Orioles have a lot of hope for its pitching rotation with all of the young studs who are going to grace it this season. Heading the rotation is 25-year-old Chris Tillman who had a remarkable 2013 season and will look to continue his run again in 2014. Tillman’s breakout year needs to be replicated once again as he starts to meet his full potential.
Tillman won 16 games and recorded a 3.71 ERA while putting up 7.8 K/9. He was also named to his first All-Star game as well. The dominance he showed in 206.1 innings for the Orioles is what Baltimore is going to bank on happening again as it tries to make another run in the American League East.
The loaded AL East is somewhat of a disadvantage to the Orioles because the organization did not go out and sign any marquee names. The team traded Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics for some infield depth in Jemile Weeks. Baltimore failed to sign Grant Balfour and have not moved in on Nelson Cruz. The rotation is going to be the big difference between winning and losing games this season.
If Tillman can go out and pitching 200-plus innings and win them 18 games, the Orioles will be okay. However, competing against the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox and the newly tuned New York Yankees is going to be even tougher with the way each team is looking this season.
Tillman needs to be the spark that ignites the pitching force this year. He will have a lot more pressure on his shoulders.