O's being cautious with Britton

Closer rested Wednesday with oblique soreness

O's being cautious with Britton

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Zach Britton says that he's not worried about the soreness in his oblique. The Orioles left-hander, who converted all 47 of his save attempts in 2016, was scheduled to throw in an intrasquad game on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said the day before that Britton would not pitch.

"It felt a little bit better today. It was a few days ago, just kind of normal soreness," Britton said.

Britton threw a bullpen session on Monday.

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"I just felt a little more sore than I normally would, so I talked to [trainers Richie Bancells and Brian Ebel] and kind of figured out what was going on. I don't think it's anything serious. It was more just soreness in an area that I don't normally get soreness," Britton said.

Because it's early in Spring Training, Britton is being extremely cautious.

"I think it's important. Kind of knowing where I am not and knowing where the finish line is, I think it's important," Britton said. "I figured we'd nip it in the bud right now, and I don't want to deal with that."

It was unlikely that Britton was going to pitch in the first two Grapefruit League games because those matchups, on Friday and Saturday, will be played on the road.

Britton didn't feel any immediate pain after Monday's bullpen.

"That bullpen I threw the other day was really good. I felt really good, so I was kind of surprised when I came in and I was a little sore. Getting old," Britton said.

Britton has only been on the disabled list once, and it was early in the 2012 season when he had a platelet-rich plasma injection for soreness in his left shoulder.

"I've never had any issues with lower back or oblique or anything like that. That's why I brought it up to Richie. It was just a little sore. You're sore right now, anyway, but it was in a spot where I'm normally not, so I figured I'd talk to them about it and then treat it and kind of see how I feel the next few days," Britton said.

Last season, Britton missed three days with a left ankle injury he suffered on April 30.

"I would be pitching in the regular season. I think my ankle injury was 100 times worse than this last year, and I pitched through that, so it was just something I didn't see any benefit to going out there and throwing all the time on this right now and possibly getting worse," Britton said. "I finally did the smart thing and said something."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Sarasota. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.