Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Starting Pitchers

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Jun 15, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) pitches during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Toronto Blue Jays defeats the Baltimore Orioles 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

B+. . Pitcher. Baltimore Orioles. CHRIS TILLMAN

Is Chris Tillman an ace? That question gets bantered about by Orioles fans. It depends upon the definition I suppose. For some folks, their expectation is a top-of-the-line starter among the 10 best in the league. By that definition, he is probably not. But he is the best that the Orioles have, so, even though I never use the term, he is our ace.

Tillman had an overall very good year, peppered with several rough patches at the beginning and then also in the playoffs. First innings were a nightmare – truly – in a number of starts. This next set of stats are among the most bizarre I’ve ever written, as Tillman’s ERA in first innings was 5.56, second innings 4.78, third innings 3.38, and combined fourth innings and after = 2.25!  Chris Tillman has NO FUTURE as a relief pitcher!

His numbers from 2013 to 2014 are very, very similar. Tillman made 33 starts last year and 34 this year.

2013 16 7 3.71 206.1 184 85 33 1.22
2014 13 6 3.34 207.1 189 77 21 1.23

So even with all of his ups and downs, if you keep running him out there, at the end of 162 games, the above numbers are probably about what you are going to see.

But the numbers are totally crazy and all over the place. For example, he had a better ERA at home than away (yes, in Camden Yards) at 2.54 compared to 4.31. But, his record at home was 5-5, yet 8-1 on the road.

So, considering his rough start and first half ERA of 4.11, but with his second half of 2.33, we will give him an overall grade of B+.