Report: Britton to be slowed this spring
Orioles pitcher Zach Britton is still dealing with lingering issues stemming from a left shoulder strain that landed him on the disabled list in August and, according to MLB.com analyst Jim Duquette, the 24-year-old will be limited to start Spring Training.
Duquette tweeted the news early Wednesday morning and O’s executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette had this to say on the matter:
“We are currently monitoring Zach Britton. He has already reported to Spring Training and is scheduled to begin his throwing progression this Friday.”
Britton has admitted before that he showed up to last year’s camp overprepared and he tired considerably down the stretch of his rookie season. The young lefty won five of his first six Major League starts and carried a 2.93 ERA into June, emerging as a legitimate American League Rookie of the Year candidate. But he won just one of the 14 starts that followed, as he struggled to remain in the game more than five innings and watched his ERA balloon to 7.78 over a nine-start stretch that ended with him going on the DL.
Britton’s stay on the DL wasn’t long — he was activated just over the minimum 15-day stay– and he made eight starts after that to finish the season 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA over 154 1/3 Major League innings.
It’s unclear how much Britton’s injury is effecting his offseason regimen and how it will impact his chances to make the team’s Opening Day rotation. He told MLB.com in December that his focus this winter had been less on throwing and more on building strength and stamina in an effort to better handle the 162-game grind.
Britton won’t be the only Oriole who is expected to be slowed in Spring Training, with right fielder Nick Markakis (ab surgery) expected to be limited through the first week of March.