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Zach Britton's MRI results "good news", though he may still go on DL

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There's reportedly no structural damage in Zach Britton's knee, according to the MRI he got on Thursday, but the Orioles may have to place him on the disabled list anyway.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Orioles closer Zach Britton got an MRI on his left knee on the O's off day and the initial results are positive, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko, who first reported on the MRI results. Though the news is good in that there's no structural damage showing, it's still not known whether Britton will avoid the disabled list.

The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo Encina added that the specific problem for Britton is "effusion in the knee that is causing swelling." It's a good thing to receive praise that is effusive. Not so good to have a knee that is effusive when you're trying to pitch at an elite level.

Even if Britton's current problem proves to be something that resolves in a few days with some rest, the Orioles can ill afford to wait that problem out with their current roster construction. That's because the addition of Chris Tillman as a sixth man to the rotation has left the O's with a bullpen of just six guys. Removing even one of those six guys from the equation for a few days would be a problem.

Possibly related to this decision is that in Triple-A Norfolk, Mike Wright was a healthy scratch from a scheduled start in the second game of a doubleheader for the Tides on Thursday. Tides reporter David Hall of The Virginian-Pilot said he learned Wright won't be in Norfolk after the game.

Wright replacing Britton on the roster would not exactly be the move of your dreams, but it could be the most convenient way for the O's to get through the seven games between now and September 1, when rosters expand and the O's can fill the bullpen with as many pitchers as they want.

The two things may not be necessarily connected. There's been more than one occasion where the O's bring a guy around just in case they decide to put him on the roster, then he never gets added to the roster and just goes right back to Norfolk.

The O's could option Miguel Castro, who pitched 3.2 innings on Wednesday. There could be another surprise injury that hasn't been disclosed before now. You never really know when Dan Duquette is at the helm of a roster.

One reason that Britton got the MRI now was said to be so that he could get an idea of whether or not he might need an offseason knee procedure. It's not immediately clear whether the "good news" of this MRI means that such a procedure will be needed or not.