Orioles starter Chris Tillman has pitched on Opening Day for the past three years. He is not expected to pitch Opening Day for the Orioles this year, however, after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection his right shoulder in December.
The therapy has him three weeks behind schedule and, even with the slightly longer than usual spring training due to the World Baseball Classic, there isn’t enough time to make it up.
If he proceeds well from here on out he could avoid a DL stint to start the season as the O’s likely don’t need a fifth starter until the middle of April.
The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.
Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.
Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.