In a move that will probably give the Orioles another left-handed reliever in the bullpen, they announced on Monday that Zach Britton has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
Britton's name is one that had been mentioned by the assorted O's media people as one who would almost certainly be getting a call-up shortly after rosters expanded on September 1. He has been on the 40-man roster and likely has something he could contribute, even if he hasn't done much to show that this year.
In six starts for the O's, he pitched to a 4.76 ERA in 34 innings, giving up four home runs and walking 15 batters. At the Triple-A level this year, it's been the same story with the walks. He has a 4.27 ERA in 19 starts for Norfolk, but is averaging just over 5.1 innings per start, with 46 walks issued in 103.1 innings. There is the promise in that he gets nearly three groundouts for every out in the air, but if he can't control his pitches, that won't do much to help the team, whether as a starter or a reliever.
If your disposition is sunny, you might find something good in this:
Britton slowed down his delivery, got back to 2010 mechanics. Said he found a YouTube video from that year in Double-A and went off that.— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) September 2, 2013
That sounds nice and all, but I'm not sure how many times I heard something like that about Jake Arrieta and it never mattered.
I don't expect to see Britton except out of the bullpen this September, so maybe he'll be able to do something different there. Or maybe he'll become the latest failed Orioles starter from the once-ballyhooed crop of pitching prospects.
According to the beat crew, the timing of any further call-ups from Norfolk is dependent on whether the Tides make the International League playoffs. A win on Monday and they are in.