Remember the great Brian Matusz debate last season?
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail kept insisting that Matusz wouldn't make his major league debut in 2009, that the left-hander would eventually be shut down after Double-A Bowie completed its season.
You know the rest. Brad Bergesen took a Billy Butler line drive off his left shin on July 30, Orioles scouts insisted that Matusz was ready, and MacPhail finally relented.
Zach Britton isn't getting the same early treatment. MacPhail is open to promoting Britton to the majors, especially after the left-hander's six scoreless innings last night in his Triple-A debut.
However, it must happen before Britton reaches a certain number of innings. He logged 140 last season at Single-A Frederick, which means perhaps an additional 25-30 will be allowed this summer. He's up to 93, the first 87 coming at Bowie.
If Britton stays on his current roll, and it's an impressive one, he'll reach his limit in a major league uniform.