Talking with Chris Tillman in Bowie

BOWIE, Md - Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman is with the Baysox in Bowie, but not to pitch in the Eastern League playoffs. He's just going to get a workout in today before he rejoins the Orioles tomorrow when the team returns to Baltimore.

Tillman left Sunday's start in New York after just three innings saying his elbow felt "dead." An MRI on that right elbow revealed some inflammation in a nerve, but no structural damage.

Tillman said he felt pretty sure the MRI would not turn up anything to keep him off the mound very long.

"I was pretty optimistic the whole time," Tillman said in the Baysox clubhouse. "It was pretty dead when I was pitching and I felt I should say something. It's not fair to your teammates to have someone out there that is not 100 percent. I told them I could still pitch. I wasn't nervous about it (the MRI). I've dealt with this before. I was optimistic the whole time and it's just fun to be part of the Orioles right now."

So what is the plan now for him?

"Just take a couple days off of throwing then go from there," he said. "When I do start throwing, sit down with the doctor and talk about it. Hopefully then get on the mound and throw a bullpen. I'm not sure what day that will be. I'm not sure whether that (taking a few days off) is from today or the day I pitched."

Tillman said he is not expected to pitch for Bowie on any injury rehab assignment.

"Not from what I'm told," he said. "I am here getting my work in and will be back with the team when they get home tomorrow."

Tillman says there is just a different feel in the Orioles' clubhouse this year.

"The clubhouse is awesome," he said. "Anyone can walk in there any day and not know whether we won or lost. Everyone has a great attitude and we're always on the same page. Guys are stepping up and kind of clicking right now."

Tillman, who is 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA over 11 Baltimore stats, said one thing he does feel certain about is that he will return to pitch for the Orioles this year. He's quite confident about that.

"Yes I do (feel I'll return), no question," he said.


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