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Orioles notes: Zach Britton throwing off full mound is like 'first day of spring training'

Orioles closer Zach Britton threw off a full mound Tuesday for the first time in his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, a step that essentially starts the baseball part of his rehabilitation in earnest.

"He had the half-mound [Friday], he had the [pitcher fielding practice], so that was the next step," manager Buck Showalter said. "That went well today. That slope is a big step for guys with injuries. ... If you think in terms of spring training, it's like the first day of spring training today."

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Showalter, asked whether Britton's quick progress is making the team rue placing him on the 60-day disabled list and thus make him ineligible to return until at least May 28, said there is no regret. The team is targeting a return around June 1 assuming no setbacks.

"I think you make a real mistake of trying to take that at a different pace than a lot of examples have shown the pace should be," Showalter said. "We would have signed up in blood for somewhere after May 28, or shortly thereafter — especially if you look at all the history of other guys, and especially after the doctors told us when they went in there."

Trumbo stays out of rain

Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Mark Trumbo went 1-for-3 with a walk Monday on his rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie, but didn't drive south Tuesday because of the weather. Bowie's game was ultimately postponed, but not before Trumbo got in early batting practice at Camden Yards.

"There's just too many factors, the field conditions and the possibility of playing in the rain — I think we felt like and he felt like we could get closer to being active by doing his work here today, even though it will count as a day of the rehab," Showalter said. "But we think we have enough time there."

Showalter added that Trumbo felt upbeat about the game Monday, making the team optimistic that his return is imminent. He's scheduled to play in Bowie's morning game Wednesday, weather permitting, before joining Triple-A Norfolk in Charlotte on Friday. It's unclear whether Trumbo will travel west with the Orioles as they begin a six-game swing against the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

Bullpen is fresh

The Orioles will come out of Tuesday's impromptu day off with their bullpen in good shape. Mike Wright Jr. and Pedro Araujo each last pitched Thursday with Darren O'Day last on the mound Friday. Left-hander Tanner Scott and right-hander Mychal Givens each most recently pitched Saturday, while Brad Brach and Miguel Castro last pitched Sunday. The Orioles needed one inning of relief Monday, from Richard Bleier, thanks to Kevin Gausman's eight innings. Each start in the Cleveland series went at least six innings.

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