Chris Tillman has had another good year for the Orioles. We just don’t know yet if he’s made his final 2013 start. He might pitch the O’s season finale Sunday, but then again he may not. Tillman said today either way is fine with him and he’ll do whatever Buck Showalter asks him.
What he has been doing this season is taking the ball every fifth day for the Orioles and when he pitched seven innings Tuesday night, Tillman became the fifth O’s pitcher since 2001 to work 200 innings or more.
Tillman believes the ability to make adjustments, both within a game and from game to game, have been big for him during a season where he has gone 16-7 with a 3.62 ERA over 32 starts.
“One of the biggest parts of pitching in the big leagues is making adjustments,” Tillman said. “Number 1, you have to recognize you need to make the adjustments. It takes a while to learn that. You learn from watching other people and it’s a puzzle you have to solve and it’s far from being solved for me.”
Tillman did show during this year that last season was not a fluke when he went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA by pitching well again and right now he is tied for fourth in the AL in wins and is one of 18 pitchers with 200 or more innings.
“Big. Anytime you get results back after the work you put in,” he said. “Everyone knows early in my career it was tough, it wasn’t easy going, that’s for sure. To be able to put everything together, adjust to the learning curve and make the adjustments on the fly was important for me.”
As for his offseason, Tillman plans some downtime for a few weeks after Sunday’s finale.
“Relax. That is a big part of it, getting away and take some time for yourself and then get back after it.”
For him that is likely to include more winter workouts with Brady Anderson and a group of Orioles in California. That has been a real help for Tillman these last two seasons as well.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. It (those workouts) has helped me tremendously over the last couple of years,” he said.