Closer Zach Britton’s minor-league rehabilitation assignment was essentially a reset to his season as the Orioles planned out seven outings to replicate spring training before he would rejoin the club.
And as Britton’s rehab assignment — which took him to four in-state minor league affiliates — ended with a scoreless ninth inning for High-A Frederick at Harry Grove Stadium, it wasn’t Britton’s most crisp outing of the seven. But much like the rustiness that comes with the final outing of spring training, when players are ready to head north, it could be expected.
Britton allowed a double and issued a walk in his 19-pitch outing, his longest on his rehab assignment, in the Keys’ 3-0 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats. Britton didn’t have the best control, falling behind four of the five hitters he faced and throwing just 10 strikes, but he emerged satisfied.
“Physically wise, I mean, and mentally, I’m just ready to get back with the team,” Britton said. “The last two have kind of just been mentally trying to stay focused down here, but knowing that I’m anxious to get back with the team, feeling the way I should feel. Obviously, I think I’ll get sharper, obviously as the innings get under my belt more. I threw seven down here, which was good, but half of those were mostly making sure everything felt good physically, so now I’m in the mode of just kind of attacking hitters and making good pitches, so that will continue when I get back with the team.”