The Orioles placed left-hander Troy Patton on the 15-day DL Tuesday after he sprained his right ankle walking in a parking garage.
“Guess we are going to have to start taping ankles away from the ballpark, too,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter recounted.
Patton is a part of a superb bullpen that has kept Baltimore in competition for a playoff berth. He’s 1-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 50 games and has limited opposing batters to a .218 batting average.
“It is extremely frustrating,” declared Patton, who has a walking boot and crutches. “I haven’t felt as good as I’ve felt recently on the mound my full career.” Sports scores
Patton rolled the ankle Sunday night. It’s the 3rd time this season he’s hurt the same ankle, but this time the injury was serious.
“I woke up and that was throbbing, and I just realized it was likely worse than I had thought,” he said.
J.C. Romero, who was obtained from Cleveland in a trade on Monday, will fill Patton’s role as the only lefty in the bullpen.
Romero started the season with St. Louis, going 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA in 11 games before being released May 14. He was then signed to a minor league agreement by the Orioles and went 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 17 appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.
After obtaining his release, Romero was signed by the Cleveland Indians to a minor league deal July 21 and pitched in 8 games for Triple-A Columbus.
Showalter announced the injury to Patton made the purchase of the 36-year-old Romero “more pressing.”
So, Romero eventually made it to Baltimore after not doing this earlier this season as a member of the organization.
“It’s baseball. I was telling two guys, nothing is written down in this game,” Romero said. “All you do is play the game the right way and respect the game. You’ll be moving from place to place on occasions and it just occurred that the 1st time around I did not get an opportunity to be here with the guys. But I’m here now and I’m trying to make the best of it.”
To attempt to get a little more left-handed depth in the bullpen, the Orioles are going to ask previous 1st-round pick Brian Matusz to pitch in relief with Triple-A Norfolk. Matusz began the season as part of Baltimore’s starting rotation but was sent to the minors on July 1. He has pitched in 68 games with the Orioles over 4 seasons, none in relief.
“We’ll do it a couple times before we consider it a choice,” Showalter recounted of using Matusz out of the bullpen. “I’d be stunned if he is unable to do it.”
In another move, Baltimore recalled right-hander Steve Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk. He replaces right-hander Miguel Socolovich, who was optioned to Norfolk on Sunday.
To create space for Romero on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated Socolovich for assignment before Tuesday’s game.
Johnson will work initially in long relief and could be considered to be as a fill-in as a starter later on in the week, Showalter recounted.