For Britton, micromanaging is out, quiet is in

For Britton, micromanaging is out, quiet is in
February 27, 2014, 11:45 am
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Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Zach Britton (53) against the Boston Red Sox during a spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium.

(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

SARASOTA, Fla. – Zach Britton likes the silent treatment. With Dave Wallace as the Orioles new pitching coach, Britton noticed a difference. Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti do it their way.

“They don’t say a whole lot,” Britton said. “When you’re out there in the pen, you don’t hear a lot.”

There was a lot of micromanaging before.

“In the past, not necessarily a bad thing, information overload, almost every pitch, ‘let’s try this or do this,’’’ Britton said. “They’re like, ‘I don’t care how your mechanics are. If you throw strikes and you get people out, we don’t care.’”

Wallace has brought his string theory to the Orioles, hanging strings in the bullpen to teach pitchers how to aim at specific locations.

“It is a nice little tool for your bullpens to maintain focus,” Britton said.
“It’s like a focal point. Sometimes guys get wrapped up in staring at where the catcher’s glove is if you have movement and you’re a pitcher like me. If you start at the catcher’s glove doesn’t mean you’re going to end at the catcher’s glove.

“It’s about picking out little spots to where you can improve your command. If anything it’s more of a tool so where when you do your bullpen, it’s not just about throwing your pitches, it’s about concentrating and trying to throw to a specific spot,” Britton said.

Britton is out of options and knows he’ll most likely be in the major leagues this year, whether with the Orioles or someone else.

“I definitely feel different. I feel a lot more relaxed, which is nice. I’m more focused on taking care of my business and not really worrying about what’s going on around me, with the acquisitions we’re making and worried about pitching well,” Britton said.

“You look around and most guys are thinking the same thing, hey we got a chance to go all the way and do some special things this year if everyone does what they’re capable of doing.”

Britton likes what he sees in Baltimore.

“I prefer to stay here, whether it’s the rotation or bullpen,” he said. “My goal is to pitch well and hopefully stay here.”