Patton headed to DL

The Orioles will put left-hander Troy Patton on the disabled list later today with a slight shoulder strain. He’s expected to miss only one start, though that will become more apparent after he’s examined tomorrow.

Patton didn’t throw today, but he might be cleared for long toss on Thursday. John Stockstill, the Orioles’ director of player development, said Patton most likely will be set back “three or four days.”

Patton left last night’s start against the Gwinnett Braves after facing one batter in the fourth inning. He was injured while diving for the ball on a bunt play. He was charged with one run when Mark Hendrickson allowed the inherited runner to score. Patton gave up one hit, struck out four and threw 28 of his 38 pitches for strikes.

Baseball America named Patton the No. 3 prospect in the system after the 2007 season, but he didn’t pitch in 2008 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. Former teammate Matt Albers had a similar tear and decided against having the procedure.

Patton appeared in only two games in spring training this year, throwing two scoreless innings and picking up a save in Bradenton. He was fortunate that he didn’t have to leave the team to attend a court hearing in Houston after being charged with a DWI in January.

The Orioles summoned Patton from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday in case they needed to place Jeremy Guthrie on the disabled list. Patton returned to the Tides after Guthrie convinced team officials that he could make Sunday’s start.

Patton had three stints with the Orioles last season. The hard part was getting into a game. He made only one appearance that lasted two-thirds of an inning in Boston.

Patton was 8-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 25 starts with Norfolk and led the team with 136 innings pitched. He gave up only four runs and struck out 15 in his last three starts covering 19 innings.

Also, Double-A Bowie first baseman Joe Mahoney won’t be in the lineup again tonight because of an injured quadriceps muscle, but he’s available to pinch-hit. He also might be held out of tomorrow morning’s game.

“We’ll revisit it Thursday if he’s not better,” Stockstill said.

Mahoney was the organization’s minor league Player of the Year in 2010.

Alfredo Simon began his throwing program yesterday in Sarasota. The Orioles will have a better idea on Friday when he’ll eventually be ready to head north. He’s basically going through spring training.

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