One of the things that pops into your head when you hear Baltimore Orioles is without a doubt their amount of young quality arms with huge potential, and perhaps the most talented of the bunch, left hander Zach Britton, was kind of enough to sit down with us and respond to a few questions for our readers.
Before we get to the interview, let's take a look at Britton's history with the Orioles. Britton was selected by Baltimore in the third round of the 2006 MLB draft out of Weatherford High School, where believe it or not he was an All-State outfielder, who also pitched, but his future, of course is as a pitcher. Zach made his Major League debut on April 3, 2011 where he was called up to replace an injured Brian Matusz and started against the Tampa Bay Rays. Britton would dazzle in his debut as he allowed just one run on three hits in six innings pitched and the Orioles rewarded him with a 5-1 victory.
Unfortunately for Britton, 2012 did not go as planned for him due to an injury. On March 26 he was placed on the disabled list due to a left shoulder impingement. He did not begin a rehab assignment until early June, and never really seemed to get in a groove. He made 11 starts for the Birds in 2012 going 5-3 with a 5.07 ERA in 60 1/3 innings pitched. Britton is poised to return to form in 2013 and will be battling for the fifth spot in the starting rotation heading into spring training.
Now let's get to the interview with Zach:
Orioles101: Thank you for taking the time to do this for us and I know our readers will enjoy this. How did it feel to be a part of the 2012 Orioles that ended the 14 consecutive losing seasons streak and brought playoff baseball back to Baltimore?
It was great. The city really came together and rallied around us. Definitely the most fun I've ever had playing ball.
Orioles101: I know 2012 didn't go exactly the way you would have preferred for your individual performance, but what changes or aspects of your game have you worked on this offseason for a better 2013?
I've just been working out, doing long toss. Using this offseason to get my command back to where it should be. I had no offseason or spring last season to do those things because of my injury. So I'm glad to now be healthy and able to use this time wisely to prepare.
Orioles101: How would you respond to all of the so called "experts" that say Baltimore cannot repeat their 2012 performance?
I don't worry about what they think. We believe in ourselves and that's all that matters.
Orioles101: It has been 30 years this year since the Orioles last made and won a World Series, what do the Birds have to do to make it back this year?
Pitch well, play good defense and let our offense do their thing. I hope to be another guy that steps up this year and helps us get where we want to go.
Orioles101: What sort of drills do you do to work on your mechanics that could help younger pitchers trying to learn consistency on the mound?
First you have to find a delivery that works for you. Once you do that, you can focus on commanding the baseball. Command is the most important tool at the big league level. In my opinion.
Orioles101: I would agree with you 100% on that. What are some of your goals for 2013?
Stay healthy and pitch up to my ability. I know that when I command the ball, I'm very successful at the Major League level. Now I need to command the ball consistently.
Orioles101: Last one for you, who wins this year's Super Bowl?
Ravens all the way!
Orioles101: Good man! Hell of a game Saturday, next up is the Pats. Zach, I just want to thank you again for taking the time to do this for us, really appreciate it.
Orioles101 would really like to thank Zach Britton for taking the time to sit down with us for an interview and respond to a few questions for our readers. If you would like a chance to see Zach, he will be at this weekend's Orioles FanFest. Although the autograph vouchers are already sold out, you could still see him walking around. 2013 bodes well for a much better and healthy Britton, as he mentioned in the interview, he did not get a chance to have an offseason or Spring Training due to his injury.
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