SARASOTA, Fla. -- Chris Tillman had a cortisone shot on his right shoulder Wednesday, and two days later, he said he's improved."I was even feeling better before I got the injection, but just kind of felt like everyone was recommending it, so I [did] it. Even the two or three
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Chris Tillman had a cortisone shot on his right shoulder Wednesday, and two days later, he said he's improved.
"I was even feeling better before I got the injection, but just kind of felt like everyone was recommending it, so I [did] it. Even the two or three days before the injection, I felt much, much better," Tillman said.
Tillman hasn't pitched during Spring Training. The Orioles had scheduled him for his first Grapefruit League start Friday against Pittsburgh, but those plans were abandoned when Tillman had to abort a bullpen session last Sunday because he wasn't feeling right.
The 28-year-old right-hander had a platelet-rich plasma injection in late December, and O's manager Buck Showalter ruled Tillman out of an Opening Day start when Spring Training opened.
For now, Tillman isn't sure where he stands.
"To be honest with you, I don't know. Part of the shot is it buys you time to take off, so do the shot, and I think take five, six, seven days off," Tillman said. "Obviously, we're going to do exercises. It's not like I'm sitting around not doing anything for that amount of time. When we start exercises, probably in the next two or three days would be my guess, and then kind of get a feel from there for where we're at.
"As of right now, it's feeling pretty good. I feel like I could do it right now, but ... I want to do it right."
Tillman said he isn't fearful he'll have to basically repeat Spring Training because of this pause.
"I don't think I'll have to start completely over, and if it was up to me, I think I'd start right where I left off," Tillman said. "Most of that stuff isn't up to me. There's a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. Exercise-wise, I feel like I'm right where I need to be. I did them up to five minutes before I got the shot, to be honest with you, and then as far as throwing, I might take it one or two steps backwards to go forward, which is fine by me."
The Orioles have several options to take Tillman's place in the rotation. It's likely that Kevin Gausman will start on Opening Day and Friday's starter against the Pirates, Gabriel Ynoa, is one of those who could step into a starting role.
Tillman has known for weeks that he wasn't going to make his fourth straight Opening Day start. He just doesn't know how long he'll be out.
"The way the throwing was going up until that one day was perfect. I guess you really never know," Tillman said.
Rich Dubroff is a contributor for MLB.com.