After spending time in Baltimore last year, but not pitching much, maybe Troy Patton's time has come.
In the chances he is getting, he has done well. Patton pitched the fifth, sixth and seventh in relief last night, with nine up and down. He gave up an infield hit, walk and bunt hit in the eighth and was replaced. One run did score and was charged to his record.
But since his latest recall on July 16, he has pitched 9 1/3 innings over six appearances. He has given up three runs on eight hits with two walks and nine strikeouts for an ERA of 2.89.
This after he posted a 4-1 record and ERA of 1.83 in Triple-A this season. Last year, Patton came to the Orioles as a late-season callup on September 7th and got in just one game the rest of the season.
It would be nice to see him get more of a chance now and it finally looks like he might. Patton is the only current player active on the Orioles from the trade that sent him and three others to Baltimore when Miguel Tejada was dealt to Houston on December 12, 2007.
That deal also made Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Mike Costanzo and Dennis Sarfate members of the Orioles.
When Patton was called up a few weeks back, he talked about his solid season at Triple-A and his move this year to the bullpen from the rotation.
Meanwhile, Zach Britton became the latest Orioles major or minor league pitcher to hit the disabled list last night. Fans are wondering why so many young pitchers seem to get hurt and is this more than just a run of bad luck.
I'm sure the O's brass wonders the same thing, but what is the reason? Andy MacPhail says pitching is fragile and I guess the 2011 Orioles are proving it.
In addition to Britton, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz, the Orioles have seen some of their top young pitching prospects dealing with various injuries also. Guys like Dan Klein, Matt Hobgood, Ryan Berry, Clayton Schrader, Chorye Spoone, Brandon Erbe and Luis Lebron to name just a few, have all dealt with some form of injury in the last year or so.
Some of these players dealt with surgeries, others with lesser injuries and some are now back pitching, but how can an organization that wants to rebuild with young pitching do it if their top hurlers keep getting hurt?