Orioles closer Zach Britton has turned in a season to remember, and it’s not all that surprising given his recent excellence. Still, it wasn’t long ago that such a showing seemed highly improbable, as Danny Knobler of Bleacher Report writes. Britton was no lock to make the O’s roster out of camp in 2014, but the refinement of his unbelievable power sinker that year has turned the southpaw into arguably the game’s most dominant reliever. Knobler takes an interesting look at Britton’s transformation as a pitcher, as well as his earlier path toward the majors.
Here are a few more stray notes from around the game:
- Nationals star Bryce Harper suffered a thumb injury that caused some concern, but manager Dusty Baker said tonight that X-rays were negative, as Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). Washington is suddenly facing a variety of significant health concerns as it readies for the NLDS, though at least in Harper’s case the prognosis seems promising. Catcher Wilson Ramos is a new concern after leaving tonight’s game following a play at the plate. He’s due for an MRI tomorrow, the results of which could have huge implications for both the team and his coming run through free agency.
- Burgeoning Astros infielder Alex Bregman could be back sooner than expected after a “leap forward” in his recovery from a hamstring strain, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Indeed, he could appear as soon as this week. While the timetable isn’t quite as promising for righty Lance McCullers Jr., he might be ready to go for the postseason if Houston can sneak in. Meanwhile, there’s said to be little chance that outfielder Colby Rasmus will return to uniform before qualifying for free agency.
- It’s possible that Red Sox deadline addition Fernando Abad won’t even crack the team’s postseason roster, as Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. The veteran southpaw has largely been quite good against opposing lefties since coming to Boston, but he has still coughed nine earned runs with a dozen strikeouts and eight walks in his 12 2/3 innings of work. Though nothing has been decided, manager John Farrell did acknowledge that the club is assessing both Abad and rookie lefty Robby Scott for the postseason pen. Scott, 27, has just six MLB appearances on his ledger, though he has yet to allow a run.