Orioles left-hander Zach Britton appears at least one more day closer to returning to full form.
Britton, who is rehabbing from left shoulder inflammation, had his second bullpen session moved up one day to today, throwing about 30 pitches off a full mound. Originally he was slated to have two days off after his first session Friday and throw again Monday.
"I think it was a lot better than the first one," Britton said. "I felt more comfortable on the mound today. I was able to make adjustments a lot quicker, too, and I was throwing a little bit harder, my tempo was a little better.
Britton is slated to throw another bullpen on Tuesday, throw a live BP session late this week and said he expected to pitch in a game situation by this time next week.
As for regaining the feel of his pitches, he's thrown and said he tested out some sliders, change ups and curveball.
"Obviously, my command can get a little better, but it's my second bullpen, so I'm not putting those expectations on myself right now. The next one, I'll try to evaluate a little more from a command standpoint, try to hit some corners and do some different things."
Britton continues to gradually join the regular pitching regiment. On Saturday, he participated in fielding drills with the other pitchers.
“I think you could say the rehab process is almost over," he said. "I can’t say it’s over until I actually face a hitter, but it’s coming to an end. We’re at the stretch run, getting off the mound, moving up the pitches off the mound. It feels like I’m back with everybody else, and not on my own little island.”
"I'm obviously behind a little bit, but I'm off the mound now," he said. "You can speed up the process once you're off the mound. If I'm feeling good, you can eliminate just a random bullpen and get into facing hitters, and I think that's where we're at right now. As long as I feel good."
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