While Chris Tillman wasn’t dominating during his first start of the season, he showed several promising signs. Despite not having his best stuff, Tillman limited the dangerous Boston Red Sox‘s lineup to just one run over five innings pitched. He worked in and out of trouble, and managed to keep the Baltimore Orioles in the game. Not many pitchers are able to yield positive results when they do not have their best stuff, so Tillman’s start shows he’s ready to take a huge step forward in 2014.
Tillman has the talent and the ability to become an excellent pitcher. Tillman was a former top prospect, and he is just entering his prime at 27 years old. Tillman has a strong fast ball and solid off speed pitches, which can dominate major league opponents.
Not only does Tillman have a lot of natural ability, but he already owns an excellent statistical season. In 2013, Tillman won 16 games and posted a solid 3.71 ERA. Tillman was also a key piece during the Orioles’ playoff push back in 2012. During the second half that season, Tillman went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA.
Tillman is clearly the Orioles best pitcher, and he should have a tremendous season in 2014. Given his talent and strong track record, Tillman could develop into a legitimate No. 1. His first start of the season shows that the ceiling of a top of the rotation starter is obtainable. He contained the reigning World Series champions without his best stuff, and he put Baltimore in a position to win on opening day.