Patton Still Waiting For A Chance In Baltimore
BALTIMORE—Lefthander Troy Patton has been recalled twice from Triple-A Norfolk this season, but he's still waiting to appear in his first major league game since 2007.
The Orioles brought up Patton for one day as relief insurance earlier this summer, and optioned him a second time on Aug. 8 after again leaving him in the bullpen.
"We needed Troy," manager Buck Showalter said, "but it was time to get him out pitching again."
That would be a refreshing change for the 25-year-old Patton, who hadn't stepped on a mound since July 28 with the Tides. He threw side sessions to knock off the rust, but needed to face live batters and get back in a groove.
Patton, who was 7-9, 4.80 at Norfolk, arrived just as the Orioles' rotation was cranking out seven consecutive quality starts. They no longer needed a long reliever, which was his role with the team after being a starter most of his career.
"It's good that I go back down there and throw a little bit so that if I'm needed in September, I can be fresh," he said.
The Orioles haven't promised that he'll return, but it's expected.
"I would hope that if I go back down there and do my business, I would," he said. "If not, I understand. It's just a tough situation."
Not as tough as undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Patton came to the Orioles in the Miguel Tejada trade from the Astros in December 2007 but missed the 2008 season while rehabbing. He's strengthened the shoulder. Now he must do the same with his prospect status.
"That's the one thing I can report. That's been awesome. My arm has felt ready, with the exception of one or two starts, and just where I want it to be," he said. "Last year, I was still dealing with some tenderness and soreness that I haven't been dealing with this year. It's been more location and not laboring through starts."
• Righthander Brandon Erbe, the Orioles' third-round pick in 2005, had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Erbe was 0-10, 5.73 in 71 innings. Opposing batters hit .294 against him.
• Four members of the short-season Aberdeen IronBirds were selected to the New York-Penn League all-star game: righthander Tim Adleman, third baseman Adam Gaylord and outfielders Trent Mummey and Kipp Schutz. Schutz was selected in the 19th round in 2009 while the other three were 2010 picks.