Orioles starter Zach Britton still bothered by shoulder injury

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Zach Britton struggled in the second half last season, including an August stint on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, and Jim Duquette of MLB.com reports that the 24-year-old left-hander’s injury “is still lingering” and his “workload will be limited in spring training.”

Britton had a 3.38 ERA in 16 starts through the end of June and then posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 starts after July 1, finishing with a 4.61 ERA and 97/62 K/BB ratio in 154 innings overall.

If healthy his spot in the rotation won’t be in question, but when shoulder problems from August remain in February that isn’t very encouraging for a young pitcher.

José Ureña drills Ronald Acuña, Marlins’ and Braves’ benches clear

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña has been on a tear lately, homering in five consecutive games and in seven of his last eight. His last three games, all against the Marlins, have featured a leadoff home run.

Understandably, Marlins starter José Ureña was not eager to face Acuña leading off Wednesday night’s game. However, Ureña got around facing Acuña by drilling him in the left elbow with a first-pitch, 97.5 MPH fastball. The benches emptied. No punches were thrown, but there was a lot of yelling.

Braves manager Brian Snitker was thrown out after yelling at the umpires because Ureña was not immediately ejected. The umpires conferred and later decided to eject him before play resumed. They then issued warnings to both teams.

Ureña will almost certainly be fined and suspended by Major League Baseball. And he should be.