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Tag:Zach Britton
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:13 pm
 

On Deck: Harang goes for NL-leading fifth win

Harang

By Evan Brunell

Best matchup: Aaron Harang loves his new home in San Diego, as he's won all of his starts to date. With a victory in his fifth start Tuesday night, he would extend his NL-leading wins tally and pull within one of overall baseball leader Jered Weaver. Harang, who didn't make the 2010 postseason roster in Cincinnati after a three-year stretch of a 4.71 ERA and 18-38 record, has suddenly trimmed his walk rate to a career-best and has yet to allow a home run on the year. But he'll have his hands full winning the game as the Braves will toss out Jair Jurrjens. The 25-year-old started the year on the DL so has only made two starts so far, but what beauties they've been. In 13 total innings, Jurrjens has allowed just one run on a solo homer, walked three and whiffed 10. Both teams are scuffling on offense, so this could be quite the pitcher's duel. Braves at Padres, 10:05 p.m. ET

Chasing No. 23: Andre Ethier will seek to extend his hitting streak to 23 games for baseball's most dysfunctional squad. After seeing a trustee named Monday to oversee the club, GM Ned Colletti said Jonathan Broxton had lost his closer's job. But wait -- manager Don Mattingly disagrees. For all those people in an uproar over the death of soap opera TV shows, we've got a live version playing out before our very eyes. The Dodgers, behind phenom Clayton Kershaw, will battle Chris Volstad (good news for Ethier as Volstad has a 6.60 ERA on the year) and the 14-7 Marlins, who have matched the best start in franchise history as well as engineering nine comeback victories already. Dodgers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET

Young guns: As the Red Sox chase .500, they'll ask Clay Buchholz to take the mound and address the troubles he's experienced early on. Buchholz has a 5.31 ERA on the year but is facing the right team in an attempt to turn his fortunes around as he has a 0.32 ERA in his last four starts against Baltimore. The O's were also Buchholz's victims back in 2007 when the youngster tossed a no-hitter. But the O's have their own electric starter coming out in rookie Zach Britton, who may have forced Baltimore's hand to keep him up the entire season and thusly qualify for free agency a full year earlier. Britton has a 3.16 ERA on the year and could be poised to cut a swath through Boston's lefty-heavy lineup. Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 6:50 pm
 

O's rotation gets another shakeup

UPDATE (6:45 p.m. EST): Guthrie has been diagnosed with a form of pneumonia and scratched from his scheduled Wednesday start. Brad Bergesen will get the ball in his absence.

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jeremy Guthrie The Orioles' rotation shuffle may not be done as Wednesday's starter, Jeremy Guthrie went to the hospital with a viral infection on Monday, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets .

The Orioles are hoping Guthrie, pictured, can still make his start Wednesday against the Tigers, but if not, Brad Bergesen would replace him.

"He started running a fever yesterday," manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko . "We thought we got it under control. Talking to him last night when we got here, he felt pretty good, but somewhere between that and today, his fever spiked back up. He's over there now trying to get a grip on what we're dealing with.

"I'm not sure if he'll be here or not. I expect him to probably come in and give us an update on where he is with it, but right now he's still tentatively scheduled to pitch on Wednesday. We'll see what the next couple of days bring. We'll probably make a decision on that tomorrow."

Bergesen had been expected to be the team's fifth starter, but started the season in the bullpen because the team wouldn't need a fifth starter until April 10.

The Orioles already had to mess with their rotation when Brian Matusz went on the disabled list on Friday due to back pain. To make up for Matusz's injury, the team moved Chris Tillman up a day to start on Saturday against Tampa Bay, while the team called up Zach Britton from Triple-A to start Sunday against the Rays.

Even with the shuffling, the Orioles starters have been good through three games. Guthrie went eight shutout innings on opening day, Tillman didn't allow a hit in six innings on Saturday and Britton gave up just three hits and a run in six innings yesterday. Jake Arrieta makes his first start of the season this afternoon against the Tigers.

Scouts told CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler that Britton may have been the Orioles' best pitcher this spring and even better than hyped Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: April 3, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Pepper: The amazing Ichiro

Ichiro Suzuki

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Edgar Martinez isn't in the Hall of Fame, but he has a heck of a case.

Martinez is one of eight players -- along with Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musical, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Manny Ramirez and Todd Helton -- to have 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career .300 batting average, a career on-base percentage better than .400 and a career slugging higher than .500.

 The former Mariners designated hitter finished his career with a career 147 OPS+, while hitting .312 in 18 seasons. Martinez made seven All-Star teams and won five Silver Sluggers as a designated hitter.  In 2004, Major League Baseball renamed its Outstanding Designated Hitter Award for Martinez.

In short, Martinez was a phenomenal hitter.

And with 2,247 hits, Martinez had led all Mariners in career hits until Saturday night when Ichiro Suzuki broke his mark with two hits in the Mariners' 5-2 victory over the A's.

It took Martinez -- as we noted, one of the best hitters of his generation -- 18 seasons to amass 2,247. Ichiro passed it in the second game of his 11th season. 

Sometimes I think it's easy to forget just how good Suzuki is. Maybe because he plays in the late games and the Mariners haven't been good lately, but Suzuki's career is one for the ages.

In each of his first 10 seasons, Suzuki has had at least 200 hits. He's already the Mariners' career leader in stolen bases (386), triples (71) and batting average (.331) and needs 425 at-bats to pass Martinez in that category.

If you add the 1,278 hits Suzuki had in his time in Japan, he has 3,526 career hits and could finish his professional career with more hits than Pete Rose's 4,256 in the big leagues. While not quite the same and not the MLB record, it'd still be an impressive feat, especially with shorter seasons in Japan.

Martinez passed Ken Griffey Jr. as the team's all-time hits leader on April 3, 2001, just days into Suzuki's tenure with the Mariners. The two played together for several years, and Suzuki said Saturday he was humbled by passing Martinez.

"Today I broke his record. When you look at his numbers, that's a fact," Ichiro said through interpreter Antony Suzuki (via MLB.com). "But he is a hero back in Seattle. He is my hero as well. When you look at his existence, he's a lot bigger than I am, being a great human being as well. So that's how I look at it.

"I played with Edgar for years. That's something that is important to me. That's precious. That's a treasure to me. That's what I honor as well."

Royals' FUTURE FLUSH -- After the Royals beat the Angels on Saturday, it was time for the real show -- Kansas City's Double-A and Triple-A teams faced off at Kauffman Stadium to a healthy crowd ready to see baseball's most hyped prospects in person. About half the crowd of 18,022 for the Royals-Angels game stayed to watch the likes of Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. [Kansas City Star]

NO PLATOON FOR PANDA -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy has assured Pablo Sandoval that he will not be part of a platoon at third base this season. Sandoval sat against lefty Ted Lilly on Saturday, but that was a matchup thing, Bochy told him. [San Jose Mercury News]

WAITING FOR HOLLIDAY -- The Cardinals aren't going to put outfielder Matt Holliday on the disabled list right away, hoping to avoid a trip altogether. Holliday had an appendectomy on Friday and was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. The Cardinals will wait a couple of days to see whether Holliday will be able to come back in time to avoid a DL trip. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

DEBUT -- Zach Britton may have been the Orioles' best starter this spring, but when time came for the final cuts, he still found himself headed to Triple-A Norfolk -- until the Orioles' best rookie of 2010, Brian Matusz, was placed on the DL with a left intercostal muscle strain. Britton, who had a 1.35 ERA in spring, will start today against the Rays. [MLB.com]

FAMILIAR FACE -- Roy Oswalt will make his first career start against Houston today. [MLB.com]

MAGGLIO OUT -- Magglio Ordonez isn't playing in today's game against the Yankees because of a sore right ankle. Ordonez was lifted for a defensive replacement in the sixth inning of Saturday's loss. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said it was mostly a precautionary move. [MLB.com]

DANKS OK -- John Danks had some dental work on Saturday, but won't miss his start today against the Indians. [MLB.com]

LONG NAME, LONG LAYOFF -- Nationals lefty Tom Gorzelanny will have 15 days between his final spring training start and his first regular-season start on April 9, but he is unconcerned. [Washington Post]

Padres LOVE THE BUNT -- The Padres new No. 3 hitter, Orlando Hudson, laid down a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning of Saturday's game against the Cardinals. The Padres have had their No. 3 hitter sacrifice 20 times in the last 20 years. [Ducksnorts]

AARDSMA CLOSER -- The Mariners may get closer David Aardsma back sooner rather than later, manager Eric Wedge told reporters. [Seattle Times]

CLOSE SHAVE -- Rays starter Wade Davis will shave his head -- well, at least the top of it, his beard is staying -- following today's game. The shave is for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Cut for a Cure and is hoping to raise $10,000. As of Saturday, he'd raised $8,000 with his vow to go bald. [Tampa Tribune]

30-DOWN -- How Brian Wilson got into the New York Times crossword puzzle. [New York Times]

DIFFERENT WAY TO THE BIGS -- Former 16th-round draft pick Griffin Benedict has given up his dream of playing in the big leagues, instead accepting the Padres' offer of joining the team as its second bullpen catcher. Benedict is the son of former big-league catcher Bruce Benedict. He hit .229 at low Class A Fort Wayne last season. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

PATCH FEVER -- There's a total of eight memorial patches on MLB uniforms this summer. The Reds, Tigers, Pirates, Indians, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs and Mariners are all sporting patches honoring people who have passed in the last year. While the Indians have gotten rave reviews of their Bob Feller patch (and for good reason), I'm a really big fan of the Pirates' Chuck Tanner patch as well. [Uniwatch Blog]

AT-BAT MUSIC -- Reds official blogger Jamie Ramsey has a list of all the at-bat music for the Reds this season. [Better Off Red]

WHITE TELLS ALL -- The New York Times has great things to say about Bill White's new book, Upity, about his time in baseball, both as a player and a league official.

BOW TIE -- Nice story from FOXSports.com reporter Ken Rosenthal on why he'll wear a bow tie on all telecasts this season. I thought it looked great, and glad to see the direction he's taken it. Good for Ken and Dhani Jones. [FOXSports.com]

FREE GAMES -- If you have the MLB At-Bat for the iPhone, iPad or Android devices, you'll get MLB.tv for free during April. If you're reading this and have an iPhone, iPad or Android device, you need to spend the $15 for the At-Bat app and this just makes it an even better deal. (You do have to buy separate apps for each device, but it's still totally worth it.) [The Unofficial Apple Weblog]

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Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:03 pm
 

Matusz shelved; Britton to make debut

By Evan Brunell

MatuszBrian Matusz has been experiencing back pain for the last four to five days and underwent an MRI Friday to try to diagnose the problem.

As MASN's Roch Kubatko reports, Matusz was found to have suffered a strained intercostal muscle that will knock him out anywhere from three to five weeks. As a result, Chris Tillman has been bumped up from Sunday to take Matusz's place Saturday. While many felt that Brad Bergesen could be the starter Sunday, the team is instead going with prospect phenom Zach Britton.

Britton was slated to start the season in Triple-A even though he has proven that it's time for him to be in the majors. While the promotion is somewhat odd as the Orioles were hoping to save on service time, Baltimore can still do that by demoting Britton a few weeks into the season once Matusz returns.

However, they've now opened the door to Britton staying in the majors the entire season. After all, if he gets off to a scorching start while Chris Tillman falls flat on his face, how can they justify demoting Britton?

Matusz, for his part, likely will take several days without throwing as he was struggling to throw even 10 feet, as MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli says. If the Orioles are wise, they will take every precaution possible in Matusz's rehab. A strained muscle can plague the entire year if not treated properly, and there's far too much invested in Matusz to run the risk of a lingering injury.

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Posted on: March 28, 2011 4:18 pm
 

After excellent spring, Britton headed to minors

By Matt Snyder

Barring an unforeseen roster decision, top Orioles' pitching prospect Zach Britton will start the season in Triple-A, meaning he wrapped up his stint with the big club Monday against the Tigers. He didn't disappoint, allowing two runs in six innings, which was actually his worst outing of the spring.

In all, he threw 20 innings and only gave up three earned runs, which is good for a stellar 1.35 ERA, striking out 13 hitters and walking five. He seemed at peace with the looming decision, even if he disagrees (via Britt's Bird Watch ).
“Because as an athlete you compete and you feel like you deserve to be somewhere and you are not, it’s kind of a slap in the face I think,” Britton said. “But there’s a business side of the game, and those guys are hired to go out there and make business decisions. I go out there to pitch and do it well. Like I said it’s frustrating, but it is what it is.”

I’m not the type of guy that’s going to go out there and complain about where I am. I’m not going to like it but I’ll go out there and pitch because it doesn’t help me or the organization if I go down to Triple-A and pout. I’m not going to get up here any quicker. I need to go out there and get people out whether I’m in Norfolk or Baltimore. But obviously I’d be a little happier if I’m in Baltimore."
Britton, 23, was the Orioles' third-round pick in 2006 and has worked his way up the minors since then. He's an overall top-30 prospect in most rating systems. He seems to be waiting his turn behind Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta and Justin Duchscherer for a rotation spot. Guthrie and Duchscherer are north of 30, but the rest of the pitchers there are all less than 26 years old. Britton definitely figures in the rotation of the future, alongside Matusz at the top of it, actually.

Last season, between Double-A and Triple-A, Britton went 10-7 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He struck out 124 hitters and walked 51 in 153 1/3 innings.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 22, 2011 11:35 pm
 

O's Britton turning heads this spring

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Zach BrittonBaltimore's top pitching prospect, 23-year-old left-hander Zach Britton, has done nothing to hurt his stock this spring. Britton allowed his first run of the spring in a five-inning effort against the Yankees on Tuesday.

In all, he's pitched 14 innings and allowed 14 hits, walked four and struck out nine, with a hit batter for good measure.

While his spring performance has impressed the Orioles' brass, it's unlikely earn him a spot on the big league roster -- at least for the start of the season. He's currently scheduled to start one of the team's split-squad games on Sunday.

"He's scheduled, but somethingg could happen in the meeting where that may change," manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec

The Orioles are expected to make another round of cuts on Wednesday, and Britton could be one of those re-assigned to Triple-A.

Britton's only made 12 starts at Triple-A, going 3-4 with a 2.98 ERA at Norfolk last season, striking out 56 batters in 66 innings. Britton's sinkerball produced a 2.8 groundout/airout ratio last season, but his fastball can still get up to 94 mph.

Zrebiec writes that the Orioles aren't as worried about his Super 2 status as much as they are his big league service time, and will wait until after April 21 to call him up in order to avoid losing him to free agency a year earlier than they'd like.

Britton said he thinks he deserves a shot, even if it's unlikely to happen.

"I think there's stuff I can improve on, but me personally, I think that's stuff I can do not just in Triple-A, but in the big leagues," Britton told reporters (via MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko). "The stuff I need to work on isn't hindering me from pitching in the big leagues. It's just about getting experience. I feel like I did what I needed to do coming into camp. Hopefully, I'll get another start or two and we'll see what happens."

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Posted on: March 12, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 9:21 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/12: Castro, Ellsbury blossom

By Evan Brunell

CastroSaturday was a day full of star performances -- it was tough to whittle the list down to just three. Many of the stars were hitters, which comes as no surprise. Pitchers are only just now going deeper into games and transitioning from rounding everything into shape to competitively pitching while hitters are ahead of the curve.

3 UP

1. SS Starlin Castro, CHC: 3 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI, 2 HR. Castro put on a power display Saturday, blasting two home runs and filling up the stat sheet. Castro is set to be the Cubs' starting shortstop in his first full season. While Castro impressed last season with a .300/.347/.408 line in 506 plate appearances, it was with just three home runs at age 20 and should add power over the next few years.

2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS: 3 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 3 RBI, 1 HR. Is Ellsbury a man on a mission to prove his detractors wrong after appearing in just 18 games last season and having his work ethic called into question? Now hitting .440 in spring training, Ellsbury could really turn heads if he returns to the lineup and builds upon his 2009 year (.301/.355/.415).

3. SP Zach Britton, BAL: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. The Orioles have to be thrilled with Britton, who now has given up no runs in 10 innings this spring. He has zero chance of breaking camp with the team, partly due to the major-league rotation being full and partly because there's no reason to call him up until June at the earliest to delay free agency another year. But don't worry, O's fans: Britton's coming to Baltimore ... soon.

3 DOWN

1. CF Roger Bernadina, WAS: 4 AB, 0 H, 3 K. Mike Morse is slated to be the Nationals' starting left fielder, narrowing the outfield competition to just center field where Nyjer Morgan is attempting to hold off Rick Ankiel and Bernadina. Unfortunately for Bernadina, just one terrible game could be enough to put him squarely behind in the competition. Given Morgan's incumbency and Ankiel's history, Bernadina already faced an uphill battle before flirting with the golden sombrero.

2. SP R.A. Dickey, NYM: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. Dickey's got a lock on a rotation spot, but if he doesn't perform up to snuff could be replaced in the season. Such is the life of a journeyman knuckleballer. He'll have these days from time to time -- but he can't have too many of them.

3. SP Carlos Silva, CHC: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Poor Carlos Silva. This competition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation must really be getting to him. After the clunker against the Reds which featured five projected starters, Silva has a ghastly 16.20 ERA. He may have sealed his fate with this game.

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More MLB coverage
Posted on: November 2, 2010 4:13 pm
 

Orioles top prospects revealed

Britton The Orioles are the first installment in Baseball Americas Top 10 Prospects rankings, considered the gold standard.

BA's Will Lingo finds a lot to be impressed by in the organization, noting that Baltimore is focusing on organizational continuity up and down the ladder. As a result, fewer roving instructors will be employed with an extra coach at each level to pick up the slack. Longtime hitting coach Terry Crowley will move into an organizational position geared towards promoting the same ideals in the organization.

Manny Machado, plucked with the No. 3 pick in the 2010 amateur draft, tops the rankings for Baltimore but stud pitching prospect Zach Britton (pictured) is no slouch, as are the rest of the names. Lingo projects No. 3 Xavier Avery, No. 4 L.J. Hoes and No. 6 Wynn Pelzer to make an impact in the majors by 2014.

The list is below, and you can check out Lingo's thoughts here , as well as their scouting breakdowns of each prospect if you have a subscription.

1. Manny Machado, ss
2. Zach Britton, lhp
3. Xavier Avery, of
4. L.J. Hoes, 2b
5. Dan Klein, rhp
6. Wynn Pelzer, rhp
7. Mychal Givens, ss
8. Ryan Adams, 2b/3b
9. Ryan Berry, rhp
10. Jonathan Schoop, ss

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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