For whatever reason, the Twins seem to have a thing for former Baltimore Orioles pitchers this offseason. Earlier in the offseason, they were also linked to Chris Tillman who at least has something about him that is intriguing.
Tillman had a stretch of seasons where he looked like a very promising pitcher. There was even a time period in there where some threw the word “ace” around as a potential future label for the right-hander. While ace is always a high standard, the Orioles had to have thought Tillman was at least a lock to be a front-end starter for them for a while based on some of his early performances.
Then came the beginning of 2017 when he was sidelined by a shoulder injury and had a delayed debut to his season. When Tillman finally debuted in May the results were not good. The shoulder seemed to be causing some lingering effects as his velocity was down all season. That resulted in a 7.84 ERA, 6.93 FIP, and a jump in both Tillman’s walk and home run rates.
Anyone who signs Tillman will be banking on the hope that his shoulder will recover and so will his velocity. He would be a cheap sign and would provide tremendous value if he could regain his 2014 form when he pitched over 200 innings, 3.34 ERA, and 4.01 FIP. Just how likely is that rebound?