Hammel OK, Tillman cleared to take next step

Hammel OK, Tillman cleared to take next step

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles received good news on a pair of right elbows Friday afternoon, with Thursday night's starter Jason Hammel said to be OK after taking a line drive off his elbow, and Chris Tillman -- who has been dealing with elbow inflammation -- cleared for long toss.

Hammel, who made his debut off the disabled list on Thursday night, joked after the Orioles' 10-6 victory that he "almost expected it" in his first start back, and the 30-year-old was equally good-natured on Friday, with no plans for his next start to be skipped.

Tillman, who was able to play catch on Thursday afternoon, isn't sure when his next start will be, and the plan is for him to slowly build back up before the team makes any final decisions. He isn't expected to pitch until at least mid-next week given Monday's off-day, and the O's could push him back further than that since the team has a number of starting-pitching options.

Manager Buck Showalter said the club will work Tillman back in "Little by little, making sure that doesn't flare back up. He's on some anti-inflammatories, and we feel like we've kind of identified a little bit what might be causing it. And we won't do that anymore."

Tillman exited Saturday's start in New York with what he described as "dead arm," and an MRI came back negative for any ligament damage.