FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Zach Britton didn't go on the road with the Orioles to face the Boston Red Sox March 20. Instead, his third outing will be one that won't count toward Grapefruit League stats.
Britton will instead pitch an inning in a minor league game at Twin Lakes Park March 20.
On March 17, Britton pitched a scoreless inning against Pittsburgh, three days after he gave up two runs on four hits in his first outing this spring against Tampa Bay.
"Well, the second one was a lot better than the first one," Britton said. "That's a good sign."
Britton said the discomfort in his left oblique is gone, and after the minor league game, the schedule has been mapped out.
"I think four more outings or so with a back-to-back in there. I actually feel really good," Britton said. "No more symptoms of that, nothing's creeped back or anything. I feel really good now. I can just focus on getting ready for the season. I feel pretty good with where I'm at this year compared to where I was last year."
In the past, Britton had thrown a two-inning stint, but because of his late start, he's passing on that.
"That's more important than maybe the two-inning [outing]," Britton said. "In the past, we've been able to do two innings. I don't think that's going to happen this spring based on where we started. Feel really good for the schedule [pitching coach Roger McDowell] laid out for me, and we're keeping on that time frame, which is huge.
"Not any setbacks or anything like that. [The discomfort is] completely gone now, and my focus is really just getting ready for the season. I'm pretty close. As a reliever now, it only takes a few innings. It kind of clicks for you one day, and then you're ready for the season to start, whereas a starter, you've got to build up those innings, and I don't need to do that anymore."
WBC RETURNS: Manager Buck Showalter said he spoke with third baseman Manny Machado and catcher Welington Castillo, both of whom played for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. He expects the pair to take some time off, and they could return when the Orioles play the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., March 24.
PITCHING CHANGES: Showalter has decided right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman won't pitch in major league games for their next scheduled outings.
Bundy will pitch in a minor league game March 23, Gausman March 25.
Showalter said he wants additional looks at candidates for the fifth starter's job. Left-hander Chris Lee and right-hander Tyler Wilson are scheduled to pitch against Tampa Bay March 22. Right-handers Mike Wright and Gabriel Ynoa are slated for March 24 and 25, respectively, both against the Twins.
SANTANDER HOLDING: Rookie outfielder Anthony Santander, a Rule 5 draft choice, had an MRI on his right elbow March 17. The MRI found no damage, but Showalter said his return isn't imminent.