Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton out with Achilles tendon rupture
The Baltimore Orioles don’t have much starting pitching, and now they don’t have much in the way of closing pitching, either.
In the latest news about the team, the Baltimore Orioles ace closer, Zach Britton, ruptured his Achilles tendon today.
Sadly, the O’s closer, who spent much of 2017 on the DL for various issues, will not be available for four to six months.
MLB Network reporter Ken Rosenthal shared the news on Twitter:
According to further information about the situation, Britton was in the middle of a typical work out when his right Achilles tendon ruptured. As a left-handed pitcher, his right-foot is the foot he plants as he throws the pitch. Sports Illustrated‘s Jon Tayler shared that Britton would need to have surgery, and recovery is four to six months in length.
According to Dan Connolly with BaltimoreBaseball.com, Britton said:
"“I didn’t hear (the pop). But it felt like somebody kicked me in the back of the calf, kicked me in the leg. Other guys heard it. It wasn’t like I was doing anything crazy, it was a straight forward sprint.”"
Britton had All-Star seasons in 2015 and 2016, where he combined to pitch 122 innings and recorded a combined ERA of 1.22, striking out 153 batters. He gave up all of 18 runs in those two seasons and had a WHIP of 0.912. He was so good in 2016 that he finished fourth in the Cy Young votes. He led the league in saves in both seasons, with a career-high 63 saves in 2016.
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He only pitched 37.1 innings in 2017 because of all of his minor injuries. His problems ranged from fore-arm strains and knee issues. In September 2017, ESPN.com reported that he received an injection of platelet-rich plasma in his left knee. This was a treatment for a strain in his MCL. Despite the strain to his left knee, he pitched at the end of the season. His goal was to continue with the platelet treatment so he could try to avoid surgery to his knee.
Now, surgery – on his Achilles – is inevitable.
How this affects the financials
Connolly also reported that the Orioles have given him a contract worth about $13 million. If the O’s release him, they would only need to pay him 1/12th of the 2018 contract. However, he will be
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They’ve already tendered Britton a contract for next year, and he was expected to make in the $12 to $13 million range in his last season of arbitration before hitting free agency. They can release him between now and late February and pay him $1 million (1/12th of the contract). Britton turns 30 on December 22.