Zach Britton followed up a stellar first year as the Orioles' closer, and this time, he had the luxury of filling the role for the whole season. Incredibly, Britton did an even better job of getting ground balls than he did in 2014, and he increased his strikeout rate, too, but he was granted only 40 save opportunities. Another half-dozen saves would have landed Britton among the top three closers in Fantasy points, but he still finished fifth. He should finish among the top six closers in 2016.
Britton settled his arbitration case with the Orioles by agreeing to a $6.75 million deal, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Britton enjoyed another great season as the Orioles closer in 2015 and will receive nearly $3.5 million more next season as compensation. He still has Darren O'Day lurking if the wheels fall off, but his peripherals paint a picture as strong as his actual performance, striking out more than a batter per inning while forcing an elite 79.1 percent groundball rate.
Orioles closer Zach Britton recorded his 36th save in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Yankees, surrendering a hit in a scoreless ninth inning. Britton recorded his third consecutive scoreless outing after a rare hiccup on Sept. 20 against the Rays, in which he blew a save while surrendering a pair of earned runs in less than an inning. As customary, Britton was sharp with his control and stingy with fly balls, throwing seven of his 11 pitches for strikes and keeping batted balls exclusively on the ground for the third straight appearance. The only blemish on Saturday's performance was the hard-throwing southpaw's failure to record at least one strikeout for the first time since Aug. 19 against the Mets.
Orioles reliever Zach Britton (back) tossed a scoreless inning in Sunday's loss to the Red Sox. Britton pitched Sunday for the first time in over a week. He was used in a non-save situation, but will presumably be available to close if the Orioles need to protect a late lead before the regular season comes to an end.
Orioles pitcher Zach Britton had an MRI on his left lat muscle, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. The MRI didn't show any serious structural damage, so the waiting game will continue for the Orioles closer, who hasn't pitched since giving up two runs Sept. 20. Darren O'Day has been closing for Baltimore in Britton's absence and should continue to get a few more opportunities if any save chances arise.
Orioles pitcher Zach Britton (lat) remains day to day, but was feeling better Wednesday and could play catch Thursday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. Britton is dealing with a sore left lat muscle, but it's not something that should affect him long-term, but it could cost him a couple of days. In the meantime, Darren O'Day will likely serve as the team's main closer.