Manager Buck Showalter’s preference is to keep Patton available for later in games, but he may not always have that luxury.
“I take it as they can still use me if they need me,” Patton said. “If the other team has a lefty-ladened lineup and the starter is done early, I still think that they have the ability to use me in that role. But then again, that takes me away for the next night or two, as far as facing a big guy in a big situation. I don’t know how they’re going to handle it and what exactly will happen.
“That’s what I was doing last year, just kind of floating around and getting in wherever, and I’ll continue to do that. I don’t care. I’m one of 25, so it’s just an honor to be part of it.”
Patton found out that he made the club around 5 p.m. yesterday, right around the time that rosters had to be set. He figured that his chances were good when left-hander Zach Phillips was called into Showalter’s office.
“I started looking around,” Patton said. “I’m like, ‘They’re not going to go with no lefties in the bullpen.’ Once he was gone, I was able to do the numbers on it. But I didn’t know until 5.”
Patton didn’t allow a run in 10 spring appearances covering 10 1/3 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked four and struck out four. Phillips allowed two runs and four hits in 11 appearances covering 13 1/3 innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts.
“He was a victim of having an option, because that guy pitched his butt off,” Patton said. “I think we get the best out of each other. I’d like to have him here because when he was here last year, he was a great guy for me to compare myself against because he throws a lot like I do and he competes well. He pitched well enough to make this team. He was a casualty of the system and his situation.
“He’s going to be in the big leagues very soon and he’s going to stay. He’s a very good pitcher.”