Admit it. Most everyone around here had long since given up on Chris Tillman being a productive major league starting pitcher. He had been up and down more than the Dow Jones Industrial Average and his inability to stick at the major league level seemed to put the lie to the scouting reports that had him as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball when he was traded here in the deal that send Eric Bedard to Seattle.
Well, let this be a lesson, even if he doesn't end up becoming a high-quality starter. It's a tricky business developing high school pitchers, and sometimes it requires the patience of a saint.
Tillman seems like he's been around here forever, but he's still just 24 years old. Doesn't turn 25 until next April. He's got a live arm and a couple of plus pitches and it has taken a long time to harness them. He's still got to prove he can be even close to consistent, but he showed up here just in time to play a big role in the Orioles' surprising 2012 season.
He's also a terrific kid, though the Orioles would take him throwing like he did Tuesday night even if he wasn't.
The jury still isn't in, but maybe the Orioles are finally getting some payback for all the time and effort they put into the Hayden Penns and Matt Rileys who never panned out.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun