Originally written on Oriole Post  |  Last updated 3/21/12

Anytime a player hears their name and Dr. James Andrews in the same sentence, it is never a good thing.

Yesterday, the Orioles announced that pitcher Zach Britton will be visiting the renowned sports doctor to have his shoulder looked at.

From the Orioles.com: Orioles left-hander Zach Britton continues to deal with left shoulder inflammation, the latest case likely costing the 24-year-old a chance at being part of the Opening Day rotation.

"Personally, it would be tough for me to be ready to start the season," said Britton, who will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday morning for a second opinion on his shoulder.

"There's always that chance that you could be, but it's really hard for me to envision being ready for Opening Day, especially not facing Major League hitters or even going more than two innings [this spring]. Everything would have to go perfectly, so I don't think so."

Britton, who will travel to Pensacola, Fla., to see Andrews, was scratched from Monday's Minor League start because of inflammation that developed on Saturday night and said he just wants another look at the somewhat "head scratching" nature of his injury. The 24-year-old Britton -- who has been dealing with inflammation in the shoulder since August -- said it's been a frustrating spring for him, as the team tries to figure out what the exact issue is.

I guess the best case scenario for Britton is to miss some time, go on the disabled list and rehab his shoulder. However, the worst that could happen is to have Britton go under the knife and have surgery; therefore, missing a chunk of time.

It sucks to see one of the better young pitchers go through injury, but it is a fact of life in baseball. If the Orioles are to improve and start their climb out of last place, it depends on the pitching and seeing someone of Britton’s caliber suffer through a bum/injured shoulder doesn’t help the situation at all.

***

Yesterday in Sarasota, the Orioles lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-1; however, Brian Matusz – without his best stuff – went five innings and gave up a run. He had trouble with location and hitting some of his spots on Tuesdat, but was effective. Without his pitches working effectively, he battled through and his team helped him out.

With three good starts in a row, is Matusz on the 25-man roster for Opening Day? Maybe, maybe not; however, considering where he came from at the end of last season to now, it’s been a nice revelation.

The Orioles need pitching, and to have the best five starters in the rotation. As it is right now, Matsuz should be penciled in. Then again, he’s got options and perhaps the Orioles want to make sure that Matsuz pitches with consistency and dominates at the Triple-A level before bringing him back up to Baltimore.

Only time will tell on that one.

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