With an open spot on the 25-man roster and needing an additional bullpen arm for the next game or two in Oakland, the Orioles have recalled left-handed pitcher Zach Britton from Triple-A Norfolk.
Britton replaces right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson, who was optioned to the Tides on Wednesday following the Orioles’ 6-5 loss to Toronto. Stinson allowed four home runs and will be replaced by Britton in the starting rotation.
The Orioles will not use Britton’s spot in the rotation until they travel to Seattle on Monday, meaning he will be available to pitch out of the bullpen over the next couple days with the club using their relievers extensively over the last week. Britton was scheduled to pitch for the Tides on Thursday night, so manager Buck Showalter will likely prefer to give the left-hander at least an inning or two of work in one of the next two games.
The 25-year-old southpaw was 1-0 with 1.98 earned run average in three starts for the Tides this season but had been dealing with a blister on his finger at the start of the season. Unlike Stinson, you would expect the Orioles to give Britton at least a few starts to assess whether he can handle a starting spot moving forward.
Since making his major league debut in 2011, Britton is 6-14 with a 4.74 ERA in 214.2/3 innings covering 40 games, 39 of them being starts. He was in contention for the final spot in the Orioles’ starting rotation this spring, but his final start of the spring when he allowed five earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings against Toronto.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta won the fifth starter job out of spring training but was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after posting a 6.63 ERA with 16 walks in 19 innings over four starts.