The Baltimore Orioles designated struggling right-hander Chris Tillman for assignment on Friday, perhaps signaling the end to the 30-year-old’s tenure with the club.
The former All-Star was just 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA before going on the disabled list with a back injury after two disastrous outings in May. He was also shelled during his rehab starts as minor leaguers batted .333 against him as he compiled a 0-3 mark and 6.75 ERA in six starts at four different destinations.
Tillman went 56-30 from 2013-16 before falling on hard times. He suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder late in the 2016 campaign and never regained his form.
He went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 appearances (19 starts) for the Orioles in 2017 before this year’s struggles.
“Chris did a great job for us over the years,” Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told reporters. “He was the ace of the staff for our last playoff team (in 2016) and was the starter in the wild-card game. He pitched in some big games for us over the years. But it’s time for us to move on and give an opportunity to some of our younger pitchers as we attempt to reach our next competitive window.”
Tillman joined the Orioles in 2009 and went 74-60 with a 4.57 ERA in 210 career appearances (205 starts). He won a career-best 16 games on two occasions — in 2013, when he made the American League All-Star team, and again in 2016.
Duquette said he offered Tillman a chance to pitch at Triple-A Norfolk. Tillman is weighing the offer, according to Duquette.
Baltimore also recalled infielder/outfielder Renato Nunez from Norfolk to fill the roster opening stemming from the trade of shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Nunez, 24, was batting .289 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 56 games at Norfolk. He was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers in May — a month after Texas claimed him off waivers from the Oakland Athletics — and batted .167 with one homer in 13 games for the Rangers earlier this season.
—Field Level Media