New signee Tillman slated for bullpen session

Righty will report to Triple-A Round Rock after spending weekend with Rangers

August 3rd, 2018

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Chris Tillman is spending the weekend with the Rangers. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Saturday with pitching coaches Doug Brocail and Dan Warthen before reporting to Triple-A Round Rock.

The Rangers signed Tillman to a Minor League contract on Thursday as a potential reclamation project. Tillman was 56-30 with a 3.91 ERA in 128 starts for the Orioles from 2013-16, but 2-12 with an 8.42 ERA in 26 starts and five relief appearances over the past two years.

"We'd like to get our arms around him," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Let him get to know us, vice-versa. Let him throw a bullpen. That relationship is huge, especially when you get a guy coming from another organization. You get to be around these guys, Dan and Doug, gets some thoughts so when he does pitch there is some familiarity there. Get him in-house and get him going."

The Orioles released Tillman on July 25. The Rangers will let him throw at Round Rock and make an evaluation. They have already had some success on this path with . He was let go by the Reds early in the season, signed by the Rangers to a Minor League contract and pitched his way back to the big leagues.

Now Gallardo has six wins for the Rangers, second most on the team. The Rangers will see what happens with Tillman.

"Obviously, [Tillman] was available to us," Banister said. "We have liked him in the past, it's a big league arm. Sign him, get him in the mix and let him go throw. How he pitches will dictate whether we see him in Arlington."

The Rangers can use all the starting rotation candidates they can get for next season. They have two who are progressing out in Arizona.

Right-handers and are spending the summer in Surprise, Ariz., where they are recovering from Tommy John surgery. Both have been throwing bullpen sessions and are expected to graduate to live batting practice soon.

They are also both expected to be ready for Spring Training with the idea of competing for a job.

Bush, Barnette watch

Tony Barnette and Matt Bush, both on the 60-day disabled list, are both getting set to be reviewed medically with the idea of being able to resume a throwing program. Bush has been on the disabled list since June 14, and Barnette has been sidelined since July 4 with a strained right shoulder.

Being cleared to start throwing again would suggest there is a possibility they could pitch for the Rangers before the year is over. But Banister does not consider that a high priority for Texas.

"My thought on all that, my opinion is that rushing guys back just to see them pitch is not the appropriate thing to do," Banister said. "I want them on the field when they are healthy and ready to go."

Rangers beat

• Eddie Butler threw 56 pitches in his 3 2/3 innings on Friday night. Butler earned the save, the longest by a Rangers pitcher since C.J. Wilson had a four-inning save on Aug. 26, 2005.

• The Rangers' 10 walks on Friday were the most by their offense since 13 against the Royals on May 18, 2011. That was an 11-inning game. The last time they had 10 walks in a nine-inning game was July 6, 2008, against the Orioles.

was scratched from Friday's lineup because of a bad headache.