Britton on being sent down

Orioles pitcher Zach Britton said he wasn’t surprised when he was called into manager Buck Showalter’s office Tuesday afternoon and given the news that he was being sent to Triple-A Norfolk.

The 23-year-old Britton, who pitched to a staff-best 1.35 ERA, was impressive in his first big league Spring Training and said the experience and getting to know the guys is what he will take away the most from this year’s camp. Britton is expected to have a short stay in the Minors –he could come up as soon as April 21 — and said the team told him to not make any “long-term plans” in Norfolk.

Here’s the rest of what he said to reporters.

[on using this as motivation]
“Yeah, definitely. I’m going to go down to Triple-A and try to continue what I was doing here. Like I said yesterday, it doesn’t do me any good to go down to Triple-A and pout because it’s not going to help me get up here any quicker. So, I understand that I need to go down there and work on some stuff too. I’m not perfect, I got some stuff I need to work on, so that will give me some time to sharpen those things but at the same time pitch well.”

[on teammates' reaction]
“Surprised. When I went up to shake some guys hands they were kind of thrown off guard that I was going down. That’s real flattering. Obviously they feel like I deserve to be on the team.

But we all understand the business side. I think everyone knows it kind of came down to that, which is fine. It’s flattering, that the organization feels that highly of me that they want me around for so long. If that’s the decision that they made, then I’m actually kind of flattered by it, and I’ll go down to Triple-A and continue to do well and be back up here hopefully within this month.”

[on what he will work on in Triple-A]
“I changed my changeup grip so I want to be comfortable throwing that again. And the mechanics that I have just kind of fine tuning those, really just being more consistent. Throwing strikes and when I get ahead, putting guys away and not throwing 90 pitches in 5 innings or whatever it is.”

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