O's set to unveil prospect Tillman

O's set to unveil prospect Tillman

BALTIMORE -- He hasn't thrown a pitch in a Major League game, but Chris Tillman is already earning flattering comments from his teammates, even regarding his physical makeup.

"He's tall, handsome and lanky," fellow rookie David Hernandez quipped. "When I left Norfolk he was just starting to get going, and if he just pitches how he pitches, he shouldn't change a thing when he's up there."

Wednesday, Tillman will be the latest Oriole to make his big league debut.

This season has been marked by inaugural starts and debuts for the Orioles. Six of the 16 players to make their first appearance with the Orioles this season also made their Major League debuts. Tillman will join pitchers Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken, Koji Uehara and Hernandez on the list of Baltimore's rookie pitchers.

Tillman has spent this season with Triple-A Norfolk. While pitching with the Tides, the right-hander is 8-6 with a 2.70 ERA. In 18 starts, he has allowed four runs or more just twice and has lasted at least six innings in seven of his past eight starts.

Pitching in the big leagues, however, is another world. Hernandez, who has been a bright spot in the Orioles' young rotation this season, said his biggest difficulty was the jump to the big leagues.

"For me, going from Triple-A to the Major Leagues was by far the biggest jump," Hernandez said. "Everybody's here because they performed well in the Minor Leagues, so you're going against good hitter after good hitter after good hitter, so it was definitely a big jump."

In addition, Tillman will have to adjust to the pressure that comes with making his Majors debut. One Oriole certainly familiar with that added pressure is rookie catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters made his debut in May and says it's not whether Tillman's skills will translate, just a matter of when.

"I'm pretty confident it will translate," Wieters said. "It's just a matter of how long it's going to take for you to make the adjustments. That's the thing that you realize up here, that you have to make adjustments every game, every pitch and move on from there. Once he learns to make those adjustments quickly he's going to be successful."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Chris Tillman (0-0, -.-- ERA)
Tillman will make his Major League debut on Wednesday, and he'll join Matt Wieters as the second highly celebrated Baltimore prospect to join the team this season. The 21-year-old has gone 8-6 with a 2.70 ERA for Triple-A Norfolk and has 99 strikeouts in 96 2/3 innings. Tillman, who was acquired from the Mariners in the Erik Bedard deal, will likely be with the team for the rest of the season.

KC: RHP Zack Greinke (10-6, 2.04 ERA)
Greinke has continued to put together the best year of his young career, but the wins have been hard to come by lately. He gave up just one run on three hits in seven innings against the Rangers in his last start. Still, after starting 6-0, Greinke is just 4-6 since May 9. And despite Greinke's dead-ball era ERA, the Royals are just 10-10 in games he starts. Of course, none of that is a reflection of his pitching. Greinke has posted quality starts in 17 of 20 outings this season. He's thrown five complete games, he also has had at least six strikeouts in 16 of his 20 starts this year. Unfortunately, the Royals have scored a total of eight runs in his last six starts.


Tuesday's start was just the second quality outing for Berken this season. His other came May 31 against Detroit. ... Luke Scott went 0-for-5 on Tuesday and is now in a 2-for-32 slump. ... Over his past five games, Nolan Reimold is hitting .647, going 11-for-17 during that stretch.

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On the Internet
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On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Thursday: Orioles (Brad Bergesen, 6-5, 3.56) vs. Royals (Luke Hochevar, 6-3, 4.84), 12:35 p.m. ET
• Friday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 7-9, 5.21) vs. Red Sox (John Smoltz, 1-4, 7.04), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Orioles (David Hernandez, 3-2, 3.20) vs. Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 12-4, 3.44), 7:05 p.m. ET

Brian Eller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.