OFFICIAL ORIOLES PRESS RELEASE: The Orioles today announced that they have selected the contract of RHP CHRIS TILLMAN from Triple-A Norfolk. Tillman will make his Major League debut as the starting pitcher in tonight’s game against the Kansas City Royals.
Tillman, 21, went 8-6 with a 2.70 ERA (96.2IP, 29ER), 99 strikeouts and a .232 opponents’ average in 18 starts for the Tides this season. He was selected to the Futures Game as part of All-Star festivities in St. Louis, starting the game for the United States team and was also selected to the Triple-A All-Star Game. At the time of his promotion, he ranked fourth in the International League in strikeouts and seventh in ERA. Tillman was 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA (24.0IP, 5ER) with 24 strikeouts, five walks and 23 hits allowed in four July starts for Norfolk.
Originally selected in the second round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft by the Seattle Mariners, Tillman was acquired by the Orioles along with four other players in exchange for ERIK BEDARD on February 8, 2008. He was rated as the Orioles’ second-best prospect and the 22nd -best overall prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2009 season. He was 29-24 with a 3.79 ERA (398.2IP, 168ER) in 84 minor league games before his promotion.
Tillman will become the fifth Orioles starter to make his major league debut for the Orioles this year, all at home, joining BRAD BERGESEN, JASON BERKEN, DAVID HERNANDEZ and KOJI UEHARA. He will attempt to become the sixth consecutive Orioles rookie starter to win his major league debut (in addition to the four this year, CHRIS WATERS won his debut at Anaheim on August 5, 2008).
To make room for Tillman on the 40-man roster, the Orioles have transferred RHP ALFREDO SIMON to the 60-day disabled list. Simon was placed on the 15-day DL on April 15 with right elbow discomfort and underwent season-ending surgery on May 5. To make room for Tillman on the 25-man roster, the club has placed LHP RICH HILL on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. Hill was 3-3 with a 7.80 ERA (57.2IP, 50ER) in 14 games (13 starts) for the Orioles this season.