Prospect Scott soaking up advice from Britton

Young fireballer has locker next to O's closer; Castro, Gentry on the mend

February 27th, 2018

PORT CHARLOTTE -- When got to big league camp earlier this month, one of the things he was excited for was his locker. It wasn't just that Scott was in the Orioles' clubhouse -- in a camp so big that numerous guys are housed in an auxiliary one -- it was where he was: next to closer Zach Britton.

"I got to camp, noticed my locker was next to his and I was like, 'Yeah!' Because he's a great guy to learn from,' Scott said. "I mean, look at him, he's Zach Britton. He went through the starting role and now he's one of the ultimate closers."

The placement was by design, of course -- nothing Orioles manager Buck Showalter does is an accident. Britton has taken on more of a mentorship role this spring as he rehabs from Achilles tendon surgery, and Scott is one of several pitchers he's been able to help.

"It has been really good to be next to his locker,'' Scott said. "You get to pick his brain a little bit. Even after my bullpens, I've talked to him for five, 10, 15 minutes every single time. When you pick a guy's brain who's been there and you see how successful he's been, he's a great guy to learn from."

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Scott, the Orioles' No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, notched a 2.22 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 69 innings at Double-A last season. He's ticketed to start the season in the Triple-A rotation. But he was held to three innings per start last year, and his electric fastball, which hits triple digits, could very well see him end up in the bullpen.

This spring, Scott -- a September callup -- is just trying to create a lasting impression for the organization. And getting sage advice from Britton can only help.

The Orioles' All-Star's best piece of advice?

"Don't worry about one pitch,'' Scott said. "If the pitch isn't where you want it, go out and make the next pitch. Don't live on just one pitch. Move on to the next."

Injury updates

(sore knees) threw a bullpen on Tuesday and is slated to pitch in a "B" game on Friday.

"I think it's going to go really well," Castro said through translator Ramon Alarcón on Tuesday morning. "I definitely feel so much better this week than last week, so I'm looking forward to [the bullpen] today."

Castro was scratched from Sunday's start against the Red Sox, with -- another competitor for the fifth starter spot -- getting the ball instead. Should Castro not make the rotation, he could also be a bullpen candidate, given how well he pitched in relief last season.

• Outfielder (left hamstring) said Tuesday morning he doesn't think he'll be sidelined long.

"I think I caught it before anything serious happened," said Gentry, who sustained the injury diving for a ball in Sunday's game. "I don't know how long it will be. I wouldn't expect it to be more than a few days or so."

Gentry said the hamstring tightened up on him after the play and worsened as the game went on, prompting him to come out early. The non-roster invitee is competing for a job this spring as a right-handed platoon option in the outfield.

"Of course, you don't want to be hurt in Spring Training, but luckily it was at the beginning and there's a lot of time left and games left," he said. "Hopefully, we caught it early enough that it isn't going to be a big deal."

• Orioles prospect Chris Lee faced one batter in the third inning of Tuesday's 2-1 win and exited with an apparent right oblique injury. Lee threw two innings on Friday.

Camp battles

Utility infield candidates , who played shortstop, and (second base) both started at Port Charlotte. The pair are competing along with for a bench role this spring.

Up next

Mike Wright Jr. will make his second start on Wednesday in his quest to make the Orioles' rotation. Baltimore will face the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET at Ed Smith Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network, MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.