Baltimore Orioles

Orioles notes: Chris Tillman 'needs to get it going' as rehab ramps up

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman had another shaky beginning to a rehabilitation outing Monday for Low-A Delmarva, manager Buck Showalter said, putting the onus on the veteran pitcher to start improving his results before the team considers activating him from the disabled list as he works back from a back strain.

"Chris was in today," Showalter said. "Last 2 1/3 innings were pretty good. The first one took him a while to get going. It's going to be interesting to see how he does in his next outing with [Triple-A] Norfolk. I'm hoping he takes a leap there into a little more consistent, productive outing."


Tillman has started slowly in each of his two rehab outings, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks with a pair of wild pitches June 20 for Short-A Aberdeen and then allowing two runs on four hits in the first inning Monday for the Shorebirds.

While Tillman is typically the kind of pitcher who takes a while to find his command during starts but settles in once he does, Showalter said this was different.


"It is from a standpoint of command," Showalter said. "He's been missing by bigger margins, very much like you've seen here early in the year. Chris needs to get it going. He knows it. I looked at the calendar on him as far as the starter on Thursday, but he definitely needs to pitch down there and show us more."

According to a rival evaluator in attendance, Tillman was 90-91 mph with his fastball early and 88-90 mph late, with his changeup effective but some problems finishing with his breaking ball.

Tillman's next start would be scheduled for Sunday with Norfolk.

Casey Cares at the park

With a few weeks remaining before the July 14 Casey Cares/Orioles 5K, which ends inside the ballpark at Camden Yards, founding director Casey Baynes was at Oriole Park for batting practice Tuesday with the family of 13-year-old Ashton Dean getting a reminder of what the organization of such a big event goes toward.

"It's amazing, because so much effort and energy goes into producing an event like the 5K, which is really important because it helps provide the opportunities for the kids in our programs," Baynes said. "But when you come out to batting practice where the family gets together on the field and watches these guys, their heroes, it's absolutely amazing to see the smiles on their faces — not only Ashton's face, but on his parents', on his brother's. To meet the guys, to take the pictures, he feels like a star, and even for a little while, can forget what he's going through."

Around the horn

The Orioles signed catcher Cody Roberts (11th round) and infielder Clay Fisher (12th round) on Tuesday, the team announced. ... Left-hander Drew Rom, the Orioles' fourth-round pick in this month’s draft, made his professional debut with four innings of one-hit, shutout ball for the GCL Orioles on Tuesday.