Baltimore Orioles news keeps worsening as premiere closer Zach Britton ruptures his Achilles tendon and will miss at least the first half of the 2018 season.
What else could go wrong this offseason for the Baltimore Orioles? The latest Orioles news is quite devastating as All-Star closer Zach Britton will miss at least six months after rupturing his Achilles during a workout Monday in California, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Britton’s injury causes two blows to the Orioles future. First, the Orioles will be without their dominating closer for most of next season. Second, as a topic of multiple trade rumors stemming back to last season, Britton’s trade value takes a nosedive.
Despite a discouraging 2017 season plagued with injuries, Britton was the most dominant closer in MLB in 2016. In fact, his awe-inspiring All-Star season included a fourth-place finish in Cy Young Award voting and No. 12 in AL MVP voting.
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Not to mention, he recorded 47 saves with a jaw-dropping 0.54 ERA and was named the best American League reliver, earning the Mariano Rivera AL Reliver of the Year Award.
The 29-year-old pitcher ran into some injury issues last season and couldn’t carry his elite performance into 2017. Due to a strained left elbow, the Orioles placed Britton on the 60-day disabled list on May 5.
However, before his injury, Britton appeared in eight games throughout April and the first week of May with a perfect 5-of-5 in save opportunities and a 1.00 ERA.
Britton returned following the 2017 All-Star break, but wasn’t the same Britton fans were accustomed to seeing. The lefty would make 28 appearances the rest of the season with uncharacteristic stats including two blown saves, issuing 13 walks and a 3.20 ERA.
The Orioles are likely to hand the closer role to Brad Brach, who recorded 18 saves in place of Britton last season. Despite his 18 saves, Brach struggled noticeably at times in the closer role with six blown saves.