Jim Duquette of MLB.com (not to be confused with Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette) reported earlier this week that Orioles starter Zach Britton’s shoulder injury “is still lingering” and his “workload will be limited in spring training.”
That may still prove accurate, but Britton took the mound today and threw 30-40 pitches, reporting no problems and telling Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that his arm felt “like brand new.”
Britton described the mound session as going “really well” and said Orioles coaches “were impressed with the velocity I was able to put up.” He’s scheduled to throw again Saturday, which as Ghiroli notes will provide a big test because Britton often struggle to bounce back from outings late last season as he posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 starts after July 1.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.