In news that won’t quell Orioles fans’ fears any, Zach Britton will get a second opinion on his injured shoulder from Dr. James Andrews.
Last month Jim Duquette of MLB.com reported that Britton’s injury was lingering longer than initially expected and could put his status for Opening Day in jeopardy.
Britton immediately tried to downplay that talk, saying his arm “felt like brand new” after throwing a 40-pitch bullpen session, but the 24-year-old southpaw apparently requested the meeting with Dr. Andrews when inflammation resurfaced recently.
Britton posted a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts after July 1 last season, so at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if a significant injury is found and at the very least he’ll begin this season on the disabled list.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.