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Orioles' Zach Britton hopes sprained ankle won't mean trip to DL

Orioles' Zach Britton hopes sprained ankle won't mean trip to DL

BALTIMORE — Zach Britton made his way into the Orioles clubhouse on crutches, and wearing a soft boot. He sprained his left ankle in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game. 

Britton fielded Adam Eaton’s bunt and threw to first baseman Chris Davis. 

“After I flipped the ball to Chris, I just kind of felt something,” Britton said. “I didn’t know if I stepped wrong. I didn’t know if I stepped wrong. It didn’t feel like I rolled it or anything, my ankle, but just didn’t feel very good and [trainer Richie Bancells] didn’t think there was any reason to push it last night. Especially with the way the weather was, the field conditions, everything. It was just best to shut it down right there.”

Eaton scored what turned out to the winning run. 

Britton is hoping he can avoid a visit to the disabled list.  
“I think I’d be surprised if I had to go on the DL, but we’ll see how it feels. It feels pretty good compared to yesterday, but still some tenderness in there and obviously I’m not walking great, so I think you’ve got to walk fine before I can even start pitching again,” Britton said.

“Hopefully, it’s just a few days and maybe I can throw a bullpen or at least run on it.”

Britton had an X-Ray, and there are no plans for an MRI. He admitted to sleeping poorly, but that was because of anxiousness, not pain. 
“I’ve never done anything to my ankles, so I didn’t really know what I was feeling. Didn’t feel very good. Just kind of felt like I had jammed it, I guess. The best way to describe it. But Richie kind of took charge and said, ‘That’s it,’” Britton said. 

As a left-hander, the ankle he injured is the one he pushes off. 

“It’s going to be a big test, a huge test. I think it would be worse if it was actually my land leg. Yeah, it’s going to a nice test in a few days if I can push off. Once I can do that, I think I’ll be fine. It’s just a matter of, if I’ve got to tape it, wear a brace or something to help me through it. Just kind of nip it in the bud right now. We have the off day tomorrow, which I guess is good timing. You never want to say good timing on an injury, but I guess having the off day would be nice. Hopefully, I can get back in the next few days.”

It was the second time in as many nights that Britton could have injured himself. He dove to try and tag Chicago’s Avisail Garcia in Friday night’s game. 
“I was telling Buck [Showalter] I was trying to win the Gold Glove. I think I’m going to shut that down for now on,” Britton said. 

The Orioles lost a bizarre game when the normally reliable bullpen allowed five runs.

“It was a tough night, I think. Us down there in the bullpen, especially. We pride ourselves doing a good job after the starter, give him those wins, especially those games that we should win. We didn’t do a very good job last night, but we’ll bounce back, and the guys will do a good job today if they get into the game,” Britton said.

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm