Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptures Achilles during workout
Reports suggest left-hander will need minimum 4-6 months to recover
Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton has torn his right Achilles tendon in off-season training, a significant injury that could cause him to miss part of the 2018 major league season.
Baltimore executive vice-president of baseball operations Dan Duquette on Wednesday confirmed the torn Achilles tendon. It was not immediately clear how long Britton would be out, but reports suggested a minimum four to six months.
Surgery tmrw. Time TBA. Dr. Ken Jung. Britton suffered the injury sprinting. "Felt like something punched me in the leg. i went down. it was probably the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.”—@Britt_Ghiroli
Britton had 15 saves and a 2.89 earned-run average with the Orioles this past season. In 2016, had a 0.54 ERA and was perfect in save opportunities with a major league-leading 47.
The left-hander, who turns 30 on Friday, is arbitration eligible after making $11.4 million US last season.
Britton can become a free agent after next season, which made him a strong trade candidate before the injury.
Britton on the injury: “On the way back from the doctors yesterday my wife and I cried the whole time. ... It’s so frustrating. You spend so much time getting back and then there’s another thing. It takes a toll on you and your family.”—@danconnolly2016
Britton has converted 135 of 145 save opportunities since becoming the Orioles' closer in 2014.
Brad Brach is the early favourite for saves to start the 2018 campaign. He had a 3.18 ERA and 18 saves in 67 appearances last season while striking out 9.3 batters per nine innings.