Quick Britton update
Orioles lefty Zach Britton threw between 30-40 pitches with no pain on Thursday, and the 24-year-old reported after his session at the Ed Smith Stadium Complex that his arm felt “like brand new”.
The next step for Britton will be to throw on Saturday, and that will be a big test given how much of the problem –in dealing with lingering left shoulder inflammation – has stemmed from throwing in succession. While Saturday’s session still affords a day’s rest, if he comes through that with no problem Britton seemed optimistic that he wouldn’t be very far behind the rest of the arms in camp.
“It went really well,” Britton, who has been working with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, said of his throwing session, which was presided over by pitching coach Rick Adair. “They were impressed with the velocity I was able to put up. So, like I said, the arm strength is there.”
Britton has been dealing with left shoulder inflammation –which prevents him from getting into his natural arm slot – since hitting the disabled list last August. An MRI taken earlier this winter on Britton’s shoulder showed no structural damage, and he’s been taking anti-inflammatories and working with Bancells at the team’s Spring Training facility in Sarasota. Britton and the Orioles have been aware of this situation –which crept back up when he started throwing – since mid-December and he’s spent the offseason doing rehab work with Dr. Keith Meister — who works with the Texas Rangers — at TMI Sports Medicine before reporting early to O’s camp.
Britton is expected to compete for a rotation spot this spring and, given how early it is, he has the luxury of time in making sure everything with his shoulder is 100 percent.