Results tagged ‘ Bruce Chen ’
Is he still a prospect? Hasn’t he been around since the Clinton Administration?
It seems that way, doesn’t it? But Patton only turned 25 at the end of the season. He was drafted out of high school and pitched very well at age 19, with a 2.18 ERA at two levels of A-ball. That got him on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list, and he stayed on it for the next two seasons while he pitched fairly well. Then he blew out his elbow, and missed the 2008 season as he underwent surgery. He’s spent the last two years — well, not exactly rehabbing, but trying to get back to where he was. He’s still a prospect; probably in the C/C+ range.
Is he a candidate for the Orioles 2011 rotation?
The good news is that in 2010 Patton stayed healthy and in the rotation all year; he made 25 starts, 136 innings. That’s good for seventeenth in the IL, and impressive when you consider that he spent some time as a bullpen arm in Baltimore. On the other hand, Patton didn’t strike out a lot of batters; lots of balls were put into play. When he was on or had a good defense or was lucky, he was effective. When we was off or didn’t have a good defense or was unlucky, he was very ineffective. At this point, he hasn’t shown me that he’s going to be good enough to be a rotation starter.
The Orioles’ rotation is just as muddled now as it was at the start of 2010. Assuming Kevin Millwood is gone, the rotation right now would include Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, and Brad Bergesen. The Orioles have been talking about adding a veteran rotation starter, but even if they don’t, Zach Britton and Chris Tillman would probably get the call ahead of Patton. However, if some of the candidates flame out, I can see the Orioles turning to Patton more or less out of desperation. If they do, and Patton is in a low-pressure, low-expectation mode, I wouldn’t be shocked if he put together a decent year.
For pitchers, success tends to breed success. If Patton does have a decent year in the rotation, there’s no reason why he couldn’t have a Bruce Chen-like career. And before you snicker, Bruce Chen went 12-7 with a 101 ERA+ for Kansas City in 2010.