Britton says he's 'ready to go'

Although closer didn't pitch Thursday, he says he feels fine physically

Britton says he's 'ready to go'

ST. PETERSBURG -- Zach Britton was not available to pitch in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Rays, but the Orioles' closer said on Friday there isn't anything serious physically and expected to be in the game Friday if the situation called for it.

"Everyone's got something they're dealing with right now, but it's nothing that's going to keep me off the field tonight," Britton said. "I'm ready to go."

The lefty had pitched three consecutive days earlier this week and got Wednesday and Thursday off. He said he knew going into Thursday's game he wouldn't be used, and right-hander Darren O'Day picked up the save instead.

O'Day slams the door

"When [manager Buck Showalter] gives you a day, which is rare that he'll come up to you and say, 'You can have a day today,' which is nice where we are right now," Britton said. "I think I kind of needed those two days with the workload that I had, and then just being ready to go for the rest of the season."

Britton also warmed up but did not get in Saturday's game, and Showalter has been meticulous about his relievers' usage and prides himself on the overall health of the pitching staff.

"There's times where you take care of them and times where you do push the envelope, as you all know," Showalter said. "You can say something, and all of sudden the situation changes. We are fortunate to have Darren. On paper, Darren has done such a good job of attacking left-handed hitters in a more efficient way the last two years. We would have done it whether we had Darren or not. I'm not going to tell you Zach is going to pitch tonight or not. I'm not going to broadcast it."

Britton didn't have a problem with it, saying numerous times he was "ready to go" as needed on Friday. He entered the day with 33 saves in 36 chances.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.