Left-hander Troy Patton is back with the Orioles, for the third time, but still waiting to get into his first game.
He was with the club for just one day, on July 21st, then returned from August 1-8 and was recalled on September 7th.
“I’m just waiting, they keep telling me to be ready. I’ve never been in this situation. But I’m here. So, that’s the biggest thing, I’m here and I’ll wait my turn.”
Patton is trying to stay game ready by throwing bullpen sessions, but doesn’t want to use up a lot of pitches there because you never know how many innings he might be needed for in a game.
For now, he’s a long reliever on a team that is getting solid starting pitching.
“I might use a bullpen to keep the breaking balls fresh. My arm feels good. I’m not worried about throwing strikes with the fastball, it’s the breaking ball that, if you take too long off, they are just not the same.
“I would only throw about 15-pitch pens. When you are starting, you might throw a 30 or 40-pitch pen to really work on stuff. I just want to spin them (breaking pitches) game speed.”
Manager Buck Showalter would like to see Patton in a game, but also likes seeing his starters pitch well and go deep into the game every night.
“I like the reason why it’s tough (to get Patton some innings). He understands what is going on. I’m glad he’s here, it’s kind of like Vandy (Rick VandenHurk). You get an opportunity but it’s not always a perfect mix how you get it. It could happen, especially some of the things we might do with our pitching as we go forward.”
Showalter admits it is kind of hard to evaluate Patton much when he is not getting into games.
“I’ve seen some of his work days. But to sit here and smugly say I got to see it, of course not, you go by what people tell you and you see a little on the side. But I can’t sit here and for sure tell you what he’s going to be able to do.
“But he’s in the big leagues and that gives you an idea of what we think about him potentially.”
As for that last quote from Buck, Patton feels the same way.
“I’m at least here. I could be sitting at home, so I can’t complain about anything. It’s better than being in Houston right now, watching games on TV.”
Patton went 8-11, 4.43 in 25 starts this year at Triple-A as he continues to get further past the shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2008 season.
When he went back to Norfolk in early August, he pitched to an ERA of 2.96 over his next and last five starts there.
“I finished up, I think in my last three starts combined pitched about 19 innings and gave up three or four runs. I was throwing well and finished up strong.”