SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Tillman will break camp on the Orioles' 25-man roster for the second time in his career.
He also will take the mound on opening day for the first time.
It just keeps getting better for Tillman.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter made the announcement this afternoon, confirming what everyone had anticipated all along. Tillman, 25, will get the call on March 31 against the Red Sox at Camden Yards, his reward for a breakout 2013 season.
Tillman started the fifth game last year, but only after coming off the disabled list and taking infielder Yamaico Navarro's spot on the roster. He morphed into the staff ace, going 16-7 with a 3.71ERA in 33 starts.
Navarro was on the roster after Brian Roberts went on the disabled list.
Ubaldo Jimenez figures to pitch the second game. He was a candidate to start the opener after signing a four-year, $50 million contract - the largest doled out by the Orioles to a free agent pitcher from outside the organization - but Tillman earned the assignment.
Tillman is 32-25 with a 4.28 ERA in 84 starts. He's gone 25-10 over the past two seasons.
More to come.
Update: Jimenez is confirmed for the second game.
Showalter hasn't revealed the rest of his rotation.
As for the weather, it's pouring here and thunder continues to rock the building. Hard to imagine this one being played.