Manager Buck Showalter was asked today if American League hitters are starting to make some adjustments against lefty Zach Britton, who is pitching tonight here against Toronto.
Over his last two starts against K.C. and Oakland, Britton has allowed 19 hits and nine earned runs over 11 2/3 innings as his ERA has increased from 2.14 to 2.93.
“No. There are no secrets,” Showalter said. “They had watched tape upon tape the first time he pitched here from the minor leagues the year before. Not many secrets. Guys always make adjustments to every pitcher, to patterns and what is going on.
“If Zach stays in what he does well and commands the baseball, I don’t think it will be an issue for him.”
Meanwhile, even though their next interleague series is not for two weeks, Showalter said his pitchers started what he called “offense preparation” today.
“It is something where I just close my eyes,” Showalter joked. “But they are all excited, it’s the earliest I’ve seen them here as a group. They started out bunting today and taking some swings off the tee lightly. We had a meeting today about what the goals are.
“It’s just another thing with interleague play where I should keep my mouth shut. Pretty exciting I’ll bet to see Matusz take some swings, maybe the tiebreaker on whether I’d go to the game.”
Showalter said he wouldn’t say which pitcher is the best hitter but said Chris Jakubauskas is pretty good and that Jeremy Guthrie said he could switch hit.