NEW YORK -- Orioles lefty Zach Britton threw a bullpen session Wednesday, his third, with no problems, and the plan is for him to pitch a three-inning simulated game on Saturday, throwing three 15-pitch innings at the team's extended spring training facility in Sarasota, Fla.
Britton, who started the season on the disabled list with a left shoulder impingement, is slated to throw in extended spring games on May 10 (45 pitches), 15 (60 pitches) and 21 (75 pitches), which would make him eligible to go out on a rehab assignment on May 26. There's a chance -- depending on how he feels and how the Orioles' current starters are faring -- that he will be sent out to an affiliate sooner, but the organization is adopting a cautious approach right now.
In following that schedule, an early June return would be the best-case scenario for Britton to be activated. Once the 24-year-old is sent out on a rehab assignment, he will have 30 days to get to the 100-plus pitch mark and get back to in-season form. Britton went 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 28 starts in 2011, his rookie year.