Britton Sent Down

The Orioles have demoted LHP Zach Britton to AA Bowie. LHP Mark Hendrickson has been recalled from AAA Norfolk.

This is a little surprising but I can understand the reasoning. The Orioles want to limit Britton’s innings this year and since we’re no longer competitive we can add a year of control of the young lefty. We were supposed to wait until three weeks into the season to bring him up for this reason but were forced to do so right away with Brian Matusz’ injury. He can go down to Bowie for about a month, throw five innings every five or six days and come back to finish the season with the O’s. He wasn’t pitching very well anyway so maybe he can get straightened out a little bit. So far in his rookie season Britton was 6-7 with a 4.05 ERA over 104.1 innings with 64 strikeouts and 39 walks. I’d like to see his strikeout rate increase and his ground ball rate as well, even though it is already 1.74. Its very disappointing that Britton, Brian Matusz, and Chris Tillman are all in the minors while Brad Bergesen is pitching out of the bullpen. Didn’t see that happening when the season started… Hendrickson comes up to help the bullpen. He was signed to a minor league contract in the offseason and had a 2.87 ERA over 47 innings with 22 strikeouts and 12 walks for AAA Norfolk. Hes a veteran and familiar with the team plus he can pitch multiple innings so it was a pretty easy call. The Orioles bullpen has been considerably overworked over the past few weeks and a move had to be made after Britton couldn’t get out of the first inning last night.

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