Tillman taking the mound for first time in 2017

The Orioles lost two pitchers to the disabled list yesterday, but they get back their ace this afternoon.

Perhaps there will come a day when everyone is together on the roster. Dare to dream.

Chris Tillman is making his first start since Sept. 28, 2016 in Toronto. The right shoulder bursitis that forced him onto the disabled list on March 30 has cleared and he’s finally ready to debut after five rehab starts in the minors.

chris-tillman-white-follow-through-Sidebar.jpgTillman went 0-3 with a 7.16 ERA in 16 1/3 innings with three affiliates. He also made a start at extended spring training.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s five starts in five states. He pitched in Sarasota, Fla., Bowie, Harrisburg, Pa., Potomac, Va. and Charlotte, N.C.

A reliever likely will be optioned to create a spot for Tillman. Stefan Crichton is vulnerable because manager Buck Showalter may prefer the length that Alec Asher and Logan Verrett can provide.

Crichton has his own seat on the shuttle. The Orioles selected his contract from Triple-A Norfolk on April 13, optioned him two days later, recalled him the next day when Zach Britton went on the disabled list, optioned him on April 24 to make room for left-hander Paul Fry and recalled him on Friday when Tyler Wilson was sent down.

Asher came up with Verrett yesterday during the latest flurry of moves, with Britton and Gabriel Ynoa going on the disabled list.

“He’s ready to go,” Showalter said of Asher. “He’s pitched very capably up here and also gives us some options as a starter if needed. And also, if we didn’t take him for this DL player, we’d have to wait another seven days, eight days for the opportunity to go get him.”

Norfolk has made at least one transaction in 12 of the last 13 days.

The Orioles are down to Donnie Hart as the only left-hander in the bullpen, with Britton on the DL again and Fry, Vidal Nuño and Richard Bleier at Norfolk.

Showalter is trying to maintain a five-man bench and stay short in the bullpen, which remains possible as long as the shuttle is gassed up.

“It’s going to be hard,” he said. “Like right now, we’ve had to send so many guys out, we don’t have enough pitchers eligible to come back unless we have a DL (situation). You see what it means, but it’s kind of like a chain in the bullpen. So many things have to do their role. You’d still rather have an everyday player like (Manny) Machado, where you don’t even have to deal with that. Good defenders and good offensive players. But when you’re trying to piece stuff together, so many pieces have to do their job to really make it work.”

Tillman is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox, with a 1.440 WHIP in 33 1/3 innings. The current group is 21-for-67 (.313) against him.

Melky Cabrera is 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles and a home run. Jose Abreu is 3-for-8 .375) with a double, triple and home run.

José Quintana is coming off eight scoreless innings in Kansas City. He’s allowed one earned run and struck out 17 batters in his last two starts over 14 innings.

Quintana is 1-3 with a 3.82 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles, with a 1.174 WHIP in 30 2/3 innings. He’s 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.414 WHIP in three starts over 17 2/3 innings at Camden Yards.

Adam Jones may be the happiest to see Quintana. He’s 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles and two home runs. J.J. Hardy is 4-for-14 with a double and home run. Chris Davis is 1-for-11.

With the Orioles facing another left-hander, Hyun Soo Kim will remain on the bench for the series finale. He also will sit Monday against the Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez.

Kim didn’t start last night against White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey. It wasn’t about health or a knuckleball. Showalter just preferred having Trey Mancini in left field.

Kim has 44 at-bats this season. Only Ryan Flaherty (16), Joey Rickard (30) and Craig Gentry (33) have amassed fewer. Rickard was on the disabled list for almost three weeks with a sprained finger.

I’m not counting Francisco Peña, who’s been to the plate once since Welington Castillo went on the disabled list, but likely will start today. Showalter probably won’t bring back Caleb Joseph following a night game.

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