Through his first seven appearances this season, including six starts, Brian Burres has a 3.19 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP over 36 2/3 innings for the Orioles. Burres, a 27-year-old who is in his third season with the O's, won six games last year as he bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-hander from Oregon City, Ore., recently answered some questions from MLBPLAYERS.com:
MLBPLAYERS.com: Tell us about your club's strong start to the season.
Burres: We all knew here that we had a good team. There are a lot of great guys in this clubhouse. We've gone out there every game trying to win and being prepared to win. It's been a lot of fun so far.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Just how important is a strong clubhouse?
Burres: When you come to the stadium, you're actually in the clubhouse more than you're on the field. You get here early, and you stay late. Fortunately, we all get along really well. When you get along and everyone is a friend, you can joke around and nobody is going to get angry. It makes it even more fun to come out to the field everyday.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How much does winning help that fun clubhouse environment?
Burres: Winning helps breathe more life into the clubhouse. Winning makes it even better.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How do you feel you are pitching right now?
Burres: I feel good when I go out there. When I do go out there, I have a lot of confidence that I can keep my club in the ballgame. When you do that, you have a chance to win.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How does that feeling compare to a season ago for you?
Burres: Aside from one outing, I've been limiting the opposing team when I do get into trouble. I might give up a run or so, but I've managed to avoid the big inning, except for the one time. I think a key has been some better preparation before the game. I think that has shown out on the field.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You have made all but one appearance so far this season out of the starting rotation. Does that help you prepare?
Burres: It's always nice to know the day you are going to throw, so you can get into your routine. You know what you need to do for the rest of the day, so that does lead to more confidence.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You have split time over your career as both a starter and a reliever. Do you envision yourself in just one role as your career progresses?
Burres: Well, right now I'm a starter, and that's pretty much all I'm thinking about. As far as the future goes, I will sort of let that unfold as it unfolds. My mentality is to concentrate on what I'm doing now and to execute on what I'm doing now.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You are also in your third year of living in Baltimore. What do you like to do in the area?
Burres: I get up early and go to breakfast to a spot that's real close to my place. Then I get to Camden Yards early. On an off day, I usually just chill and relax. Sometimes I like to find a new restaurant -- there are so many good ones in Baltimore -- and check out the food.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Are you enjoying Baltimore's famous seafood?
Burres: The crab cakes are great, for sure. Anyone who comes into town has to try them.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You said that you like to go to the stadium really early. Why is that?
Burres: I tend to like to get to a lot of places I go early. I don't like to rush. If I'm there a few hours before, I can stretch. I get dressed, relax and go through my mail. I can sign some cards and then go hang out with some dudes, and, before I know it, it is gametime.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.