Saturday, Feb. 23 marks the first 2013 Spring Training game for the Baltimore Orioles. They will face the Minnesota Twins at home in Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, FL. This will be the first home spring training game of 19. They will play a total of 35 games combined home and away over the next month and a half.
There are two games slated that are not against MLB teams as they will take on Spain’s national team and also play against the Manatees from the State College of Florida.
Zach Britton has been tabbed as the starter for Saturday’s game versus the Twins. The left-handed pitcher is now in his third year with the Orioles and his seventh year overall in the Orioles organization. At one point heading into the 2011 season Britton was ranked as the 28th best prospect in all of baseball.
Last season he started just 11 games going 5-3 while posting a 5.03 ERA. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci has compared Britton to Tampa Bay Rays‘ pitcher David Price due to his ability to fire pitches at 94 MPH with movement and great accuracy, which is rare amongst left handed pitchers in the league.
Now that is where the comparison ends. Price is obviously a Cy Young caliber player year in and year out. However, at age 25 Britton has room to improve and has just 39 games started under his belt.
Opposing the Orioles on the mound Saturday will be Twins pitcher Kevin Correia.
The first game that will be televised on MASN, (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network) will be Monday when they take on the New York Yankees at home.