For all those waiting for young Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman to take the next developmental step on the way to becoming a top-flight starting pitcher, manager Buck Showalter has a news bulletin for you. He already did.
Chris Tillman said Tuesday that he is eager to get back in a normal routine because he thinks this year's rotation — with up-and-coming young starters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy and two motivated back-end veterans — has a chance to be one of team's best in a while.
There is only one conclusion to be drawn from Tuesday's revelation that Orioles ace Chris Tillman will not be ready to start Opening Day as he continues to experience right shoulder soreness: This is something the Orioles could absolutely not afford to happen to their paper-thin starting rotation.
The Orioles' top arbitration-eligible players got about what they were expected to get, which is a sign that the club wanted to avoid any contentiousness with a group of popular players the Orioles would like to keep around beyond their arbitration eligibility. It remains to be seen whether team officials will stick by their vow to go all the way to hearings with Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach and Caleb Joseph.