Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman has functioned as a starter in all 194 of his major league appearances, but he’ll come out of the bullpen next time he takes the ball. Tillman has been the weakest link in an awful Orioles staff this year, having logged an 8.10 ERA over 66 2/3 innings, leading them to shift the impending free agent to a relief role, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report. The once-quality starter may be in his last weeks with the Orioles, but Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com argues that they should re-sign him now in a buy-low maneuver. Connolly’s reasoning: Baltimore will be desperate for starting pitching in the offseason, and the team’s unlikely to bid for big fish such as ex-Oriole Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish, so re-upping Tillman on a one-year, $6MM-$8MM deal with a club option for 2019 would be a worthwhile gamble.
More from Baltimore and two other AL East cities:
- When the Red Sox placed left-hander David Price on the disabled list last week on account of elbow issues, they were confident he’d return this season. Now, “the clock is working against” Price, writes Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com, as he’s dealing with soreness that prevented him from throwing from flat ground Friday. Afterward, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was unable to provide a timetable for a potential Price return. While Dombrowski noted that Price’s elbow has been “fine” when he has thrown, the executive conceded “the longer that he’s out, the longer it takes to come back, because you have to then build yourself back up.”
- Designated hitter Matt Holliday wasn’t in the Yankees’ starting lineup Saturday after tweaking his lower back Friday, and a DL stint is possible, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Judging by his output lately, a Holliday absence wouldn’t be the worst thing for the scuffling Yankees. The 37-year-old got off to a sizzling start this season before going on the DL in late June with a viral infection. He has been a drain on New York’s offense since returning in mid-July, with a .136/.165/.198 line and 24 strikeouts against three walks in 85 second-half plate appearances.
- In an act that has become commonplace for the Orioles, they traded international bonus slots for a minor leaguer on Saturday, when they acquired High-A infielder Brallan Perez from the Rangers. Owner Peter Angelos doesn’t allow Dan Duquette to make splashes internationally, notes Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, and the general manager explained Saturday what he has tried to accomplish by dealing the money for players who are already stateside. “We’ve been utilizing the international slot money to help us acquire some pitching to help our team,” said Duquette, who added that he’s “utilizing a trade resource to impact your team now rather than three, four, five years down the road.” The trade Duquette made Saturday wasn’t for a pitcher, nor will Perez make a big league impact imminently. However, previous swaps have netted the club hurlers in Yefry Ramirez, Matt Wotherspoon, Jason Wheeler and Damien Magnifico – the last of whom is now in the Angels organization.