Showalter cautiously optimistic on Britton return

Lefty hoping for early comeback from torn Achilles; timetable still uncertain

March 7th, 2018

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Orioles closer Zach Britton, who underwent surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon on Dec. 21, is making good progress, manager Buck Showalter said on Wednesday.

When Britton -- who is on the 60-day disabled list -- was initially injured, the original forecast was that he would be out six months. The left-hander hopes he can be back sooner.

"The biggest thing in talking to the doctors and talking to [athletic trainer Brian Ebel] is, the setbacks for this are not a two- or three-day setback," Showalter said. "That's what we can't have. ... A month longer. We can't have that."

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Showalter says that Britton is still throwing with a protective boot.

"His arm is going to come quickly," Showalter said. "That's not going to be something we're going to have to wait a long time on."

Davis still on the shelf

First baseman Chris Davis, who hasn't played since last Friday with a sore right elbow, won't play Thursday or Friday against the Blue Jays, Showalter said.

"It will be a little while," Showalter said of Davis' return. 

Davis had an MRI Saturday, and was originally forecast to be out three to five days.

Camp battle

is hoping he has a shot to break with the team as its backup catcher.

The 27-year-old Wynns hit .281 for Double-A Bowie in 2017, with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs. Wynns has drawn raves for his defensive ability.

"Camp's going great. It's been a great experience," Wynns said.

Despite the ongoing pressures to perform, Wynns, Baltimore's No. 24 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has developed a mindset that helps to maintain his composure. 

"Sticking to your routine," Wynns said of his early defensive success behind the plate. "Don't change who you are. Know who you are."

Wynns is competing with highly-touted catcher and , who has substantial big league experience, for the opportunity to be 's backup.

"All of us have a shot, a great shot," Wynns said. "What makes me stand out is being who I am. What I try to do is lead with defense -- that's win the game, win the day, and I have to do that every day. That's my job. I have to bring the same mentality every day and not change."

Wynns got the start Wednesday against the Rays. Heading into that contest, Wynns was 1-for-7 (.143) with a home run through his first five spring games. 

Liranzo optioned to Minor League camp 

The Orioles optioned right-handed reliever to Bowie on Wednesday. In two outings this spring, Liranzo allowed three runs over two innings. There are now 52 players on the O's camp roster.

Up next

starts for the Orioles when they face the Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. The left-handed Cortes, a Rule 5 Draft choice, is competing for the fifth starter's job. He has a 4.50 ERA in his first two starts.