Britton's focus remains on competing for rotation

Britton's focus remains on competing for rotation

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Orioles lefty Zach Britton is well aware of the Ervin Santana rumors, but the 25-year-old lefty -- who is vying for a rotation spot this spring -- isn't letting the team's possible acquisitions change his approach.

"I haven't really looked into any of the stuff," said Britton, who is out of options, but could find himself in the bullpen if he doesn't make the rotation. "If we sign another guy, we sign another guy. That's been my mindset. I know when I'm healthy and I'm pitching the way I am, I can compete with anybody that we sign. Whether I get the opportunity to do that, it's out of my control. But just go out there and put on a good showing and hopefully I've got an opportunity on this team and kind of go from there."

Britton has given up one run in six spring innings and said after Sunday's game this is the best he's felt in years.

"When a quality hitter swings and misses the sinker, that's a pretty good sinker, especially at 93-95 [mph]," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's been sharp. I'm excited with how he's doing. Hopefully, he's following the same path as another guy [Chris Tillman] who was out of options last spring."

Britton, who would most likely be claimed off waivers if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster, credits his offseason work and new mindset for his performance so far in spring. While there's still progress to be made, the lefty is encouraged with where he's at in the second week of March.

"A lot of the focus has just gone toward what I can do on the field to be successful and stopped worrying about signings that we do or roster decisions," he said. "The focus is now completely out on the field and out on that mound and how can I improve and better myself this year."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.