Even as avid Orioles fans, we admit there wasn't too much to get excited about as we fell in two series this past week. However, there were a few bright spots, including veteran Adam Jones (who had two homers and three RBIs Friday night) and newbie Henry Urrutia, who has had nine hits in his first eight games with the team. But we also always get a boost of confidence when this pitcher steps on the mound . . .
Stud of the Week for July 22-29:
Tillman has begun the second half of the season with two of his best starts, allowing just two runs over a combined 15 innings. The 25-year-old's 13-3 record is by far the best on the roster.
On Friday, Tillman pitched seven shut-out innings against the Red Sox, holding Boston to just two hits while striking out eight.
Even after Jones hit two bombs on Friday night (and got pied twice after the game), his comments to reporters revolved around Tillman's performance. "He's been throwing the hell out of the ball all year," Jones told MASN Sports. "This is the year he takes a turn for the better. This is the year he loses that prospect status and starts to put himself in top-of-the-rotation conversation. He's got the talent to do it."
You can't say we didn't warn you. In an article about five Orioles rookies that I wrote in April 2010, we talked extensively about Tillman's promising future on the team. It was then-pitching coach Rick Kranitz who made the most accurate prediction: "Tillman is the baby of the group, but I can envision him in the next couple of years being an absolute jaw-dropper."