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July 9, 2011

Britton demoted to Double-A Bowie

In somewhat of a surprise move, the Orioles optioned Zach Britton to Double-A Bowie, a move that not only will ease the innings total on the rookie left-hander, but it likely will keep him under team control for one more season.

Britton, who lasted just 2/3 of an inning in the Orioles' 10-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox last night, is scheduled to pitch three innings for Bowie on Friday. If things go according to plan, he'll return to the Orioles on July 30.

That would mean that he'd be in the minors for the required 20 days for the Orioles to gain an extra year of service time.

"It's tough to swallow those reasons," said Britton who was clearly disappointed.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter insisted that the main reason for the demotion was that Britton is clearly struggling. The team also wants to keep his innings total to around 175, and it's easy to limit him down in the minors.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 5:32 PM | | Comments (20)


if he goes to the minors, pitches 3 inn and comes back that's a joke. the kid has a right to fell badly. if that's the case he should start counting the days to becoming a free agent and look forward to leaving this long running train wreck. if they are sending him down because his isn't playing well most of his teammates should be sent to the minors as well.

Is it really a surprise move? He's young and been getting kicked around his last few starts. He probably should have had more AAA time. If there was replacements in AAA, almost all of the staff should be demoted the way they are preforming. If you can't last 5 innings at least then you are not ready to be a starter in the major leagues. Guthrie is the only one somewhat performing and he has been in a rutt too the last few weeks.

What a slap in the face!

I understand why Zach is unhappy with going down. BUT, after his last 2 games, I feel he would need to get his feet under him. His luck has basically ran out. MLB hitters have watch the tapes of his games. I appears to me, that he must be "telling" his pitches. Can't remember when anyone gave that many runs in one inning.

Jeff i am not saying that zake isn't struggling but this organization once again shows why it's a second class outfit. Nobody ever brings up the fact that 2 years ago they took the same cheap route with guthrie when they reduced his salary only because they could. Everybody say's that a player never holds any grudges, but you can bet your last dollar that down deep they never forget.On another subject everybody applaudes the orioles for showing fightning spiirt last night,but unless a team steals a base with a 8 run lead or sacrifices to try and add more runs, what happened last night was just a second class team feeling sorry for themselves for getting the s--t kicked out of them.This is professional baseball and i understand there are certain unwritten rules that need to be adhered to but in order to get respect you need to earn it and the orioles are a losing bunch that doesn't deserve the other team to feel sorry for them. You want it to stop start winning and stop crying. They are a discrace of a organization period. I am certainly glad that i have the previledge to cheer for a raven team that is completely opposite of how this team is run.The ravens are first class from top to bottom. They have the finest scouts in football and the front office dwarfs the majority of the other teams.

I was surprised at first but I agree with this - there is nothing to lose at this point and gaining back some confidence and an added year of service makes sense.

Does anybody think that Mark Connor leaving had something to do with the pitching struggles?

Jeff- another "lost" and worthless Oriole baseball season.

Jeff - after reading the article regarding the probability of Bundy being signed as no better than 50/50 it looks like another "lost" draft. And of course you are aware of my feelings that Delmonico also must be signed at any cost to start the improvement of our minor league talent immediately.

But Jeff one question? Since the Orioles will be drafting in the top two or three again(its hard to believe isn't it) how many years does Angelos want to pay for the huge bonus' of every yerars Oriole high draft selection? When will Angelos say "enough is enough" and either sell the team or find a top notch GM and player personnel director?

Jeff - how long can team continue to be the "laughing stock" of the American League?

Anyone with half a brain knows the orioles have been waiting for this opportunity all season. Everyone knew that when Zach struggled a bit, Andy would send him down to get the 20 days served in the minors.

It's how this team is run. Instead of acting like a medium market club. With a huge cable deal, management wants you to think they're similar in size and scope as the Rays.

What would this team have done without Britton the first half of the season?

Sure, this is the best business move. But for a team that has once again hit rock bottom, it's just another sign of their complete lack of class. This club has remains an embarrassment, with no light at the end of the tunnel. . . .ever.

I agree with you. We should go find a GM who has some experience and a track record of Winning!!
Lets find a GM who has won multiple World Series Titles.....uh.....oh....we already have one of them

It was definitively the right move. Britton has not been effective for quite a while now and it is not fair to the team to let him figure it out at the major league level. And as far as service time goes - that may be the first thing everyone will bring up but we first need to see what kind of pitcher he will develop into. Will he be the Zach Britton that started the season 6-0, or will he be the pitcher that he has been the last 10 games? If it the latter, service time will not be an issue. We all need to be realistic here. Zach cannot live off of his 6-0 start and nor should we fans. He must earn the right to pitch at the major league level and he has not done that in his last 10 starts. .


Let's face it. It sucks for Britton; however as a manager you've got to send a message that if you're in the big leagues, play like you belong. If you don't perform, you will be sent down. Britton has it all wrong. This is not about learning how to pitch in the big leagues. You were brought up because they believed you are ready to pitch in the bigs, not because you're supposed to learn in the bigs.

Buck did the right thing. This is not about the "kids" learning. The "kids" better come up taught and ready to pitch. I'd send Lee and Guerrero to the minors if I could.


Andy's fleeting success was back in the dead ball era. The only stability that he brings to the organization is the culture of losing. He has failed at every aspect of baseball management for the franchise. He has no vision, nor does he have a plan, nor does he understand how the game has changed. Clearly he was not up to this job and the longer he stays the longer it will take to move the organization forward. This team is not even close to being competitive and the current futility is not just a bad streak. This is just a bad team, hampered by a bad minor league system. There can be no more excuses. Andy and the entire front office need to go.

Results are the measurement of any manager in any profession. It's way past time to move into the post Andy Macphail era. His hire was a huge mistake that has cost yet another 4 years of a bad organization finding itself still dead in the water.


Will you ever stop being ridiculous?! Your act is stale. This MacPhailure is self evident. There is no illogical and irrational garbage you can post here, that carries any kind of credibility with regards to this MacPhailure. It's OK to be wrong. But you're beyond wrong. You're insane! You need help.

Does it really matter? I haven't seen anything that makes me think this team is improving. They have gotten their butts kicked in embarassing fashion for the past month. The names change but the results remain the same, year in, year out. As a fan I am struggling to care anymore, and I've been a fan since the 1960's.

Gil i am going to leave you in charge the next 4 day's as i am going to Atlantic City to play some poker.All these years we have been preaching to the choir and now everything that you said is coming to fruition. There can't be a worse run organization any where like the orioles.I never could magine things getting worse but they have.Andy's reign on this team has been a total failure from top to bottom.My only question is how come it took so long for people to see it???

Time will tell. The whore organization is in so much better shape than when Andy took over. Just look at the 40 man roster now compared with 1996. This team got like this looooong before Macphail got here. Just look at all the prospects that came up since the 1980's. And now we have many players in the minor leagues that will help out in the next few years.
Changing GM's would be quite stupid at this point and you won't find a GM who has won multiple World Series Titles in ANY era now will we?
Stick with the plan Andy!

"dead ball" era? ....thats a good one. Mr. Gil
So I suppose the rules Andy was operating under were different than the other teams of that era? Or were they all operating under the same rules?
That's OK You will appreciate his job as much as anyone when we are fighting for a playoff spot....yeah I year!

Typical orioles, sad but true maybe they should have Zach be the DH or play the field I think he could do a better job than some of his teammates. If I were him I would be counting down the days to free agency.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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