Manager Buck Showalter had two choices for a starting pitcher for the Thursday game in the Bronx because both Jake Arrieta and Britton pitched in the Saturday doubleheader and would be on normal rest for Thursday.
But Showalter said Arrieta will start that game and Britton will pitch the series opener on Friday at Cleveland.
It’s probably a little disappointing to some fans that Britton will not be on the mound in the New York series, but I can’t argue with Showalter’s decision.
He has seen the lefty pitch two strong games so far, and after going 7 2/3 and 103 pitches against Texas, he will give him an extra day’s rest before his next outing.
In 26 starts last season between Double-A and Triple-A, Britton went that deep into a game just twice with a pair of eight-inning outings, one for the Tides and one for the Baysox.
Showalter most likely made a good decision and as we know, he hasn’t done much wrong since taking the job here in Baltimore. He should get the benefit of the doubt with this call.
Arrieta, coming off a 3 1/3 inning outing versus Texas where he threw 77 pitches, faced New York twice last year and won both games. He was 2-0 with an ERA of 3.65 in those games, allowing 12 hits and five runs over 12 1/3.
Arrieta beat the Yankees at Camden Yards last June 10 in his big league debut. Maybe that factored into Buck’s decision as well.
Britton entered Monday’s games rated third in the AL in ERA (0.66), tied for 12th in WHIP (0.95) and tied for second with two wins.
Buster Olney wrote this about Britton on Sunday:
“In the first week of the season, the Texas Rangers hammered or merely beat every pitcher they had faced, from Jon Lester to Clay Buchholz to Felix Hernandez, but on Saturday, Britton - throwing that vicious fastball - completely shut down Texas in the first game of a doubleheader.
Major League Baseball was blessed with an incredible class of rookies last year, from Buster Posey to Jason Heyward to Stephen Strasburg to Jaime Garcia. So far this year, the best young player has been Britton.”
I guess it is going to take the Yankees a little longer to find that out.