Thursday, May 1, 2008
This evening, I had the pleasure to interview Orioles prospect Chris Tillman. Tillman came over in the trade involving Erik Bedard, but has done everything the Orioles have asked of him thus far. He is just nineteen years old, but is already looking like the next ace of the Orioles staff. I want to thank him for doing this interview for me, I really appreciate. I also want to thank everyone over at the Bowie Baysox for getting this done for me, I really appreciate it.
ELI: You pitched very well at Rookie ball the year you were drafted, did you need to make any adjustments moving away from high school?
CHRIS: Yeah, it was actually a big adjustment. In high school, I just sort of threw the ball and got away with it. In the minors, I had to set up batters -- hit my spots.
ELI: You pitched very well in Low-A for Wisconsin, but your W-L numbers did not show it. Was it frustrating not getting the run support needed to put wins on the board?
CHRIS: No, it really wasn't. I just wanted to get up and do what I could to help the team win. Everything else was out of my hands. I just had to do my part, and I felt I did.
ELI: The Erik Bedard trade talks dragged on a lot, what were your feelings on it when you first heard you could be traded, and then when you finally were traded?
CHRIS: At first, I didn't really know about it. But our closer, JJ Putz, started giving me crap about it. I was disappointed when I heard the news, just because I started to really get to know the guys, but I am happy where I am at now.
ELI: Coming into Spring Training, did you feel any pressure to perform having been one of the guys to come over in the Erik Bedard trade?
CHRIS: No, I didn't. Baseball is baseball, I just went out and had fun.
ELI: You are 6-5, have any coaches told you how to pitch effectively to your size, or is that something you have figured out on your own?
CHRIS: No, not really. They mostly told me to stay tall and not to drop my arm angle.
ELI: What did it mean to you to have established veterans Steve Trachsel and Jamie Walker take you under their wing, in a sense?
CHRIS: It was pretty cool. Those guys have been around awhile, they know what they are talking about, so I definitely listened.
ELI: What did you think of Baltimore's old fashioned spring facility?
CHRIS: You know, I was spoiled coming from Seattle, but it was nice.
ELI: The best feeling you have had on a baseball field came when and under what circumstance?
CHRIS: Probably when I was fourteen, pitching in the junior Olympics. I was pitching with all my friends, who I have played with since we were nine, and we went 10-0.
ELI: Can you think of one thing you have enjoyed the most about playing baseball as a professional?
CHRIS: There is nothing better than getting up and going to the field everyday.
ELI: What is your usual choice for food on the road? McDonald's? Subway?
CHRIS: They usually feed us at the field, so we eat pretty healthy.
ELI: When you left the Major League camp at Spring Training, was there anything the Orioles coaches told you to go and work on?
CHRIS: Yeah, they told me to work on holding runners on. And from a mechanics standpoint, not to cross my body too much when throwing.