Did Orioles left-hander Zach Britton earn another start?
By By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun|
Jun 19, 2013 at 7:00 AM
DETROIT -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn't commit to giving left-hander Zach Britton another start after his solid outing Tuesday night in the Orioles' 5-2 win over Detroit.
I asked Showalter whether Britton presented himself well enough to earn another start. The rotation is definitely in a state in flux for this weekend's Toronto series, hinging on Jason Hammel's recovery from a stomach virus and Miguel Gonzalez's return from the paternity list.
"He's an option," Showalter said. "We've got a lot of things going on. We're taking a look at [Wei-Yin] Chen's outing on Thursday, see where we project him after that, see when Ham, when Ham's comfortable to go and when we see Miguel back. We [don't] know what the plans are until you get it here. And Freddy [Garcia], if we have to use Freddy out of the pen or not tomorrow. We'll proceed, and see where it takes us. He did a nice job, all things considered. I'd like to see him get a little deeper."
Britton allowed one runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings on Tuesday night in his first major league start since late April. And if shutting down a Tigers' lineup that entered the night hitting an AL-best .281 as a team doesn't earn another outing, I'm not sure what does.
"I think I threw OK," Britton said. "I'd like to go deeper in the game with that lead. Walked a couple guys I probably shouldn't have, maybe be a little more aggressive in those situations. I felt like it was OK. Lot of things to improve on, I would have like to go deeper in the game and I feel like if I didn't walk Fielder especially I would have had that opportunity.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction, but I don't think it was fantastic. I can definitely improve on some things."
Britton did walk three batters, but he was able to get out some early jams, a factor that has been a key difference maker with the Orioles' young pitchers.
After the game, Britton said he wanted to continue to do what made him successful at Triple-A Norfolk, where he recorded four quality starts in his last five outings, pitching to a 2.03 ERA in that span.
"Mixing in my offspeed pitches earlier, trying to command those a little better and stop being predictable with the sinker," Britton explained. "I think that sometimes I get in trouble with being a little stubborn with the sinker, making sure I'm mixing in all my pitches and if I do that then they can complement each other. Like today I was missing some spots, I was able to keep some guys a little bit out in front, a little bit behind, which was good."
Asked if he believed he'd get another start, Britton had no clue.