The future just got a little brighter for the Orioles. Well, if you’re into immediate over-reactions and things of that nature. But enough with the pessimism. Chris Tillman, a 22-year-old right-hander in the O’s system, tossed nine innings of no-hit baseball on Wednesday night against the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, Georgia.
MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, the Orioles’ major league beat reporter, grabbed a quote from Tillman after the start:
“Everything kind of fell into place,” Tillman said Wednesday. “I was pitching around my fastball. I had my curveball when I
needed it. I was able to throw my changeup and my cutter. My catcher
[Adam Donachie] did a great job calling pitches. I had three or four
great plays behind me.”
It was a team effort, and the Norfolk Tides defeated the Gwinnett Braves 6-0. Tillman was a near-lock to capture Baltimore’s final rotation spot this spring after throwing 65 major league innings last season, but David Hernandez stepped up and secured the gig. Now Tillman is fighting his way back to the big leagues, and tonight’s performance should only help.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.