Manager Dave Trembley met with reporters for about 17 minutes after today’s game. That’s an unusually long session, and it became emotional as he recounted how he broke the roster news to several disappointed players.
Chris Tillman will throw in a minor league game on Thursday to raise his pitch count in the 90-100 range. Then he’ll go to Triple- A and try to get back to the majors.
“What we’re doing is the best thing for the team and for his development,” Trembley said. “He was put in a situation last year where he came up to the big leagues because of need. We had an awful lot of injuries and we had an awful lot of movement. He is going to be a fantastic major league pitcher for a long time, but there are some things that he needs to get better at, and we’d rather see him do that at Triple-A than in the big leagues.”
Trembley didn’t want to elaborate, but he noted how Tillman needs to become more consistent with his delivery, “and the consistency of his pitches will follow.”
David Hernandez beat out Tillman for the fifth spot after coming to camp “looking and pitching with more confidence,” Trembley said. “His breaking pitch has improved. He’s had a good camp. And we feel like he’s ready to take the fifth slot and let’s go.”
Craig Tatum is regarded as the better defensive player, which is why he beat out Chad Moeller.
“I think that’s the only consideration,” Trembley said. “You come down to Tatum and his ability to catch and throw. And I think it’s pretty obvious.”
Trembley doesn’t believe that Moeller is needed to mentor Matt Wieters or the young pitchers.
“This is Wieters’ team,’’ Trembley said. “This is Wieters’ pitching staff. We’re expecting a lot from Matt Wieters. Chad Moeller is not there for Wieters any more. We feel confident that Wieters now, boom, it’s yours.
“I think it’s a compliment to the guys in the clubhouse rather than a negative that we feel guys like (Brad) Bergesen, it’s time to fly. (Brian) Matusz? It’s time to fly.”
Trembley felt bad for Alberto Castillo, who was impressive this spring and “opened up some eyes.”
“He feels like he can get people out, whether they’re right- or left-handed, and I really can’t argue with him on that particular point,” Trembley said. “We told him to go down, and he’s not going to make the club at the beginning of spring, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be here rather quickly. It’s difficult to tell him that. It’s difficult to tell Chad Moeller that. It was difficult to tell Chris Tillman that. But the way I tried to do that is to be as honest and forthright as you possibly can. It’s not easy.”