Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced on Monday that RHP Chris Tillman will be his Opening Day starter against the Boston Red Sox on March 31st at Camden Yards. By posting an All-Star campaign in 2013 for the Orioles, Tillman has earned the privilege of opening the season against the defending World Series champions.

When the Orioles signed veteran RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, they certainly improved their rotation. But Tillman is still the main man in Baltimore’s starting five.

After going 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 2012, Tillman really arrived in ’13 by winning 16 games and becoming the first Orioles starting pitcher to be named to the American League All-Star squad since Mike Mussina in 1999. Tillman is being counted on by Showalter to continue his ascent to being a top-flight hurler.

Tillman, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the same 2008 trade that brought the Birds All-Star CF Adam Jones, will be 26 in April. Yes, the future seems bright for him and for Baltimore in 2014.

With Tillman and Jimenez locks to be in the rotation, Showalter will probably fill out the rest with LHP Wei-Yin Chen, RHP Miguel Gonzalez and RHP Bud Norris. At least at the beginning of the season. Things are always subject to change.

That’s not a bad group. As I have said many times before, they need to be good–maybe very good–for the Orioles to compete in the AL East.

The leader of this crew is Chris Tillman and he will start Opening Day for the Orioles.

Rightfully so.


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