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.