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Britton feels good after throwing off half-mound

MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton threw off a half-mound for the first time on Friday afternoon, throwing 20 fastballs in a big step forward in his progression from offseason Achilles surgery.

"Felt really good. It was the first bullpen, so I had to think about that too," said Britton. "Arm felt really good. Just had to really think about getting over that foot, no hesitation, especially as we got going. Maybe the first couple throws, but once we got going it felt really good."

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BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton threw off a half-mound for the first time on Friday afternoon, throwing 20 fastballs in a big step forward in his progression from offseason Achilles surgery.

"Felt really good. It was the first bullpen, so I had to think about that too," said Britton. "Arm felt really good. Just had to really think about getting over that foot, no hesitation, especially as we got going. Maybe the first couple throws, but once we got going it felt really good."

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The lefty is eligible to come of the disabled list on May 28 and manager Buck Showalter said it's realistic to expect Britton to be back "shortly thereafter." The next step for Britton, and arguably one bigger than Friday's throwing, will be taking pitchers fielding practice on Saturday.

"The doctor said that I wasn't going to have an issue getting back on the mound," Britton said. "So running, stopping. I'm not sure if I'm going to do throwing, but I'm going to do the running and stopping off the mound and see how it feels. But the way it's been going I haven't had any issues whatsoever in anything that we've added new, so I don't expect to have any. Just mentally getting off the mound, running hard, stopping, turning around and throwing the ball to first."

Mark Trumbo, who is currently sidelined with a quad injury, said Friday he feels much improved and is hoping to get out on a rehab assignment with an affiliate soon. Showalter said the team is hoping Trumbo can get in some games as early as Monday.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Zach Britton