Britton plays long toss, nearing rehab start

Britton plays long toss, nearing rehab start

BALTIMORE -- Starter Zach Britton is getting closer to a return with the Orioles, after he was put on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a left shoulder strain. The rookie southpaw threw long toss for the first time in six days on Wednesday and is scheduled to make a rehab start either on Sunday for Double-A Bowie or Monday with Class A Frederick.

"Right now, [Britton is] tentatively scheduled to pitch Sunday," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But we've got a wiggle day there. The problem is if he pitches on Monday, [pitching coach] Rick [Adair] actually talked about maybe taking two work days. If he does that, then he'd pitch Monday and that would have to be in Frederick."

Britton, who holds a 6-9 record with a 4.66 ERA, has responded well to anti-inflammatory medication. If the rest of his recovery proceeds without complication, Britton could return to the starting rotation against the Angels next week. Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes made a spot start in place of Britton on Tuesday night and is scheduled to do so again on Sunday against the Tigers.

The 23-year-old Britton will attempt another session of long toss on Thursday.