Orioles place Chris Tillman on disabled list with 'lower back strain' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Orioles place Chris Tillman on disabled list with ‘lower back strain’

The Orioles announced about an hour before game time Friday night that Chris Tillman has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain.

The club recalled right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis to take Tillman’s place on the roster.

So, this is the current resolution to the Tillman situation.

Tillman, 30, is 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA in seven starts this season and allowed six runs (five earned) in 1 1/3 innings in his last start Thursday.

It was obvious the Orioles couldn’t send Tillman back out to the mound to start another game.

They can’t send him to the minors without asking waivers on him – and, even then, he could refuse a minor-league deal and become a free agent. In that scenario, the Orioles would still have to pay most of the remaining $2.3 million or so on his $3 million, one-year deal.

So, this is probably the best scenario for all involved.

Tillman stays in the organization, gets some time off to get his confidence (and any ailments) figured out and then will be able to pitch some in the minors once his “injury” improves.

Here’s the deal: We’re obviously not buying that Tillman is really injured – or at least not to the point that he can’t pitch. He said, point blank, Thursday night that he was physically fine. He’s said that for more than a year since he’s came back from a shoulder injury.


Perhaps Tillman is dealing with some back discomfort – all major leaguers are banged up.

And the injury has to be OK’d  medically by team physicians, so it’s not like the Orioles can just dream up scenarios without any medical basis.

The “nagging/phantom injury” thing is a dance that many ballclubs do during the course of a season, and the Orioles are often ballroom leaders. Yes, I remember the Ubaldo two-step into the parking lot hole and the month-long hustle known as the Flaherty Flu.

It happens. And now Tillman has a lower back strain.

The bottom line, I suppose, is that the Orioles are holding onto one of the franchise’s biggest contributors of the past few years.

With the hope that with rest and rehab his “lower back” improves.



  1. Jbigle1

    May 11, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Kick the can down the road

  2. Mau

    May 11, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    You know, it’s not just him. I’ve never seen a group of pitchers all struggle in the very first frame so consistently, at least more consistently than most major league teams. Even Bundy got destroyed in the first inning. Makes me wonder about preparation and coaching. They did it last year also.

    • Jbigle1

      May 11, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Idk about it being coaching for the first inning issues. But mcdowell certainly has to go. He’s not getting the best out of any of our pitchers except maybe Richard bleier. Not a lot of positives. Can’t put all the struggles on him either but he doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of answers.

    • JParsley

      May 11, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      I agree with Jbigle1 McDowell hasn’t shown anything in the 1 plus season he’s been coach. Just about every single pitcher has been worse since he took over as pitching coach just check the numbers from 2016 and compare to 2017-18. From top to bottom the pitching staff has declined

  3. jkneps63

    May 11, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Okay great Tanner Scott gets a start! Sisco hits a homer off a LEFT HANDER…OMG Buck WTF???

  4. cedar

    May 12, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Call me a Tillman apologist (and I’ll accept that), but his is the best solution for both the O’s and Tilly. He gets a break, then gets time in the minors to work on his pitches. The O’s free up a roster spot. By the time the reassignment is over they should both know if there Tillman has anything left to give.

  5. willmiranda

    May 12, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    “Not to the point that he can’t pitch”? Sorry, Dan, but I buy that. He can’t pitch.
    And it’s his body that can’t pitch. Therefore, the DL. Whether it’s curable or not
    is another question, but what he did the other night was not pitching. I do get your
    point that we don’t see any blood, swelling, or dislocation and he’s not crying with
    pain. His body may simply be too worn out to perform at the ML level.

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