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Game Notes: El Caballo Returns

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Rays travel back home to Tropicana Field to take on the Baltimore Orioles for a three game set. This is perhaps one of the strangest things to have occurred in baseball history, as the the Orioles will play as the home team during the games and Rays will be the visitors, despite technically playing at home.

Anyway, as the Rays return to the Trop, they'll also add another young buck to their impressive stable of a rotation as Alex Colome will make his first start of the year after beginning the season on the DL with pneumonia, after also being delayed to spring training due to visa issues.

Finally though, after four rehab appearances in the minors in which he struck out 17, walked 3, and allowed 4 runs to score in 15+ innings pitched, Colome will make good on his March 6th promise.

Here's how the O's are set to face Colome, with Rays killer Steve Pearce making his first career start at 2nd:

Colome's opponent on the mound will be Orioles ace, Chris Tillman, who also started on opening day against the Rays. He's been off and on though since dominating the team in his first start. During his 2nd start against Toronto, Tillman failed to get out of the third inning and he allowed 7 runs. He'd only allow 1 run his next time out, but would follow that up with a performance in which he allowed 7 runs to score.

Here's how the Rays will lineup against him, with Desmond Jennings again out of the lineup:

Tillman has a complete arsenal of six pitches he can use, a fastball, curve, cutter, change-up, sinker, and a silder. His fastball and sinker reside in the low 90's, while his cutter is in the upper 80's. His curve, change-up, and slider all come in the mid to low 80's.

Tillman attacks the top of the zone with his fastball. He's rarely used his sinker this year, but when he does he makes it bear down and in on righties. With his cutter, Tillman tries to nibble at the corners around the batter's knees to get strikes. TIllman has only thrown one slider this year and it was a low and away from the zone to a righty. With his curveball, TIllman likes to have it tail away from righties until it drops out of the zone, while trying to backdoor it to lefties. With the change-up, TIllman will throw it anywhere near the zone to the righty, while exclusively using it on the outer edge to lefties.

So far this year, Tillman has heavily relied on his fast ball, using it 62% of the time, while using his curve 13%, change-up 11%, and cutter 11% of the time. His slider and sinker are rarely seen as he's only used the former less than 1% of the time and the latter only 2% of the time.


Other Rays News:

- Jake McGee will make his 2nd rehab appearance tonight. He pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday. Also, Blake Snell will make his debut with Montgomery.

- With Alex Colome starting the game for the Rays, he'll add another interesting statistic to the Rays injury riddled start to the year

- After being DFA'd, Everett Teaford accepted his assignment to Durham

- More on Jennings

Go Rays!