These are the days that try an Orioles fan's soul
Left-hander Zach Britton was scratched from a minor league game over the weekend with renewed shoulder soreness (Getty Images)
Sure, it was fun to watch Adam Jones and Matt Wieters light up Ivan Nova and the Yankees on Sunday night's live MASN telecast, but that certainly was not enough to lessen the sting of Zach Britton being scratched from his scheduled appearance in a minor league game or Alfredo Simon coming out after two innings against the Yankees with a re-aggravated groin. Guess that's why the Orioles brought 28 pitchers to major league camp.
The Britton shoulder situation is sobering, even if the Orioles are portraying it as just "inflammation." He has been struggling with shoulder soreness since late last season, and the offseason did nothing to calm it down. That's pretty scary, when you imagine the worst-case scenario.
If it becomes necessary for Britton to have the shoulder scoped -- or worse -- it would be a huge blow to the Orioles' youth movement, which looked like it was starting to bloom this spring. Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta have looked very good, but Britton is a big piece of that puzzle, too.
Here's hoping against hope that the Orioles and Britton come up with a rehab program that keeps him off the operating table ... and some of the new starter candidates make Dan Duquette look like a genius.