Baltimore Orioles' closer Zach Britton, only three days removed from being reactivate from the disabled list, has continued to feel discomfort in his left arm, the club sent him Friday for a fresh series of tests to determine the cause of the recurring pain.
Britton made his return to the lineup Tuesday, logging two appearances then and Thursday, pitching two scoreless innings at Fenway Park in Boston. However, when he awoke Friday, the 29-year-old was experiencing tightness in his forearm area, manager Buck Showalter said.
Even after the club's 4-2 win against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards, Showalter was fairly mute on details regarding Britton's issues.
"There's some talk about the next step to take with him," Showalter said during his postgame interviews. "He woke up this morning, felt it, felt some discomfort this morning. I guess we call it the night when we get back at 4 [a.m.] It got a little better as the day went on, but we're trying to decide what our next step is."
Showalter did say the club scheduled Britton for an MRI Friday night, results of which weren't yet available after the contest against the White Sox. The manager said it was still too early to tell if the pitcher would be returning to the disabled list. He said the MRI results will likely play a mitigating role on which direction the club decides to go.
"How we proceed will probably be derived from those findings, just compare it to the one he just took," the manager said. "Same forearm strain I think. I talked to Zach today and Dr. Jacobs and [Orioles head trainer] Richie [Bancells] and [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell]. Just trying to gather all the information as to which direction to go."
The pain was first felt by Britton while throwing a breaking ball during the club's April 14 contest in Toronto. He was sent to the disabled list just two days later. When he was reactivated Tuesday, the Orioles were optimistic that the injury wasn't serious, X-rays and MRIs on his forearm and elbow confirmed those assumptions, the club reported at the time.