With his first start, and all the hype that went with it, now out of the way, Chris Tillman takes the mound tonight in Detroit for his second Major League start.
“I feel like I’ll be a lot more comfortable,” Tillman said. “That first outing had a lot to do with nerves, trying to do too much. Now that I got my feet under me a little, I should do better.
“I need to get my off-speed stuff over for strikes. Last outing, my changeup was okay early but fell off late in the game. I didn’t have my curve at all.”
Tillman gave up seven hits and three runs, all on solo homers, Wednesday vs. Kansas City. He walked one, fanned two and threw 93 pitches.
Tillman was aware he might see the big leagues this summer, but tried not to pressure himself to make that happen.
“No, I never put a timetable on myself. Just want to go about my business and do my thing every fifth day.”
As one of baseball’s best prospects, the 21-year-old has had to deal with pressure and high expectations this year.
“I try not to buy into it that much. I saw Wieters go through it, that helped me. He had it ten times worse than I do. He handled it great on and off the field. Having guys like that around is a big help for me.”
Tillman put up even betters numbers at Triple-A this year than he did at Double-A last summer. He said his improved changeup is the biggest factor.
“Absolutely, 100 percent. Last year I maybe threw it two or three times a game. This year I have been throwing it 15 to 20 times a game. My last start I didn’t throw it as much as I’d like to but it will be there.”
Tonight in Detroit, it’s Tillman time. Again.
Minor League Note - RHP Brandon Cooney has been promoted from Delmarva to Frederick today. With the Shorebirds, Cooney was 2-5, 2.89. RHP Mick Mattaliano moves from Aberdeen to Delmarva.