BALTIMORE -- After throwing a 25-pitch simulated game on Thursday, closer Zach Britton is scheduled to start his rehab assignment on Monday in Aberdeen, Md., for the Orioles' short-season Class A affiliate.
"[The simulated game] went really well, actually," Britton said. "Facing hitters for the first time in a while, physically felt great. That's what it kind of was all about. Woke up this morning, felt great again. Progress has been really, really good lately, and I've had no setbacks off the mound. I'm feeling really good now, and I just have to get back in game form, and then I'll be ready to go."
Manager Buck Showalter said that Britton will follow his outing in Aberdeen with two appearances at Class A Delmarva and one at Double-A Bowie to try to get the closer back to the Orioles in July.
"I don't think it will be July 1. That's not what the schedule is," Showalter said. "But we are starting to get more definitive. I think after the second Delmarva appearance, we will get a real definitive idea if that all goes well. He feels good. You can tell by talking to him he feels real good about where he is."
Britton was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season with a left forearm strain on May 5. The lefty had picked up five saves in his eight appearances before getting injured. He recorded 47 saves for the Orioles in 2016. When Britton was placed on the DL the second time, the team estimated that he would be out between 45 and 60 days, and it appears that he is right on schedule.
"I think the timeframe wasn't what I wanted," Britton said. "I didn't want to be out that long, but from what we've done from a rehab standpoint and building up to throwing, it's been nothing but positive, so you can't fault them for maybe being bit more cautious, and I think that it was the right thing to do, obviously since I came back early one time. We didn't want that to happen again."
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.