Patton waits for his chance

Troy Patton has been with the Orioles for more than a day this time.

Patton was called up for just one day and one game on July 21st, but he's been back with the club now since last Sunday in Kansas City.

He is still waiting to get into his first O's game on the mound. When he does it will be out of the bullpen and the 24-year-old lefty has made just two relief appearances in 125 pro outings.

His last one, on September 7, 2007 was memorable, but not for a good reason.

"Funny story, my last outing out of the pen was in Shea Stadium with the Astros and that's the outing I blew out my shoulder. I have one other career outing out of the bullpen, in the playoffs in A ball."

The outing in New York led to shoulder surgery for Patton who then missed all of the 2008 season.

He was very much on the comeback trail from that surgery pitching between Bowie and Norfolk last season.

But this year, he said, he has pitched with no issues at all with the shoulder.

"That is the one thing I can report, that's been awesome. My arm (and shoulder) has felt ready, with the exception of one or two starts, and just where I want it to be.

"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."

Patton went 7-9, 4.80 this year in 20 Triple-A starts. In his first ten starts with Norfolk, his ERA was 5.70, but it has been lowered to 3.93 over the last ten.

"It's been kind of a roller coaster. I started out and had a really tough first month, gave up a lot of home runs. I settled down and have been pitching a lot better since then. It took me a while to gain my confidence this season. I was finishing real strong towards the end.

"The life on the ball has been a lot better this year and the consistency from start to start has been way better."

When he takes the mound for the Orioles, he will be pitching in the Majors for the first time since that outing in 2007 vs. the Mets.

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