Orioles Option Zach Britton; Promote Steve Johnson

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 15: Pitcher Steve Johnson #52 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to a Detroit Tigers batter during the eighth inning of the Orioles 4-0 loss at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Orioles optioned Zach Britton to Triple-A Norfolk after last night’s game and promoted right-hander Steve Johnson in his place, reports Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com.

The 24-year-old Johnson, who owns a 2.86 ERA and 8.5 K/9 in fourteen Triple-A starts, will make his first major league start against the Seattle Mariners tonight. Johnson made one relief appearance earlier in season for Baltimore, allowing a home run in two innings pitched.

Britton, 24, missed the first three months of the season after undergoing platelet rich plasma therapy in his shoulder. The young left-hander was expected to have a positive impact on the rotation upon his return, but struggled mightily in his brief stint with the Orioles. Called up in late July, Britton put up an 8.35 ERA and 6.9 BB/9 in just four starts for Baltimore.

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Will Baltimore’s struggling young starters ever turn it around?

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