BOSTON, MA - JULY 8: Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Reports out of Boston say #orioles have optioned rookie LHP Zach Britton to AA Bowie. Expected back by end of the month
The 23-year-old Britton began the year strong, with a 2.14 ERA through his first nine starts. Since then, though, he's made another nine starts, with a 6.55 ERA and a strike rate below 60%. Friday was obviously his worst start of the season, but it wasn't the only time he struggled, so now the Orioles are going to give him a bit of a breather. As Kubatko says, it isn't expected that Britton will be in the minors for long, but this'll be a chance for him to slow down and get things figured out.
Britton had been considered a strong AL Rookie of the Year candidate before his season turned. To take his place on the roster, the Orioles have recalled enormous veteran lefty Mark Hendrickson, who will work in relief.