Left-handed reliever Troy Patton’s five-week recovery from a sprained right ankle took much longer than he expected, but he was finally reactivated from the disabled list before Friday’s game.
Patton, who sprained his ankle while walking home, went on the disabled list Aug. 14. At the time, he was the Orioles’ sole left-handed bullpen arm. He had pitched to a 1.05 ERA over his last 27 appearances and had an 18-game scoreless streak over 13 2/3 innings when he was sidelined. He also held left-handed hitters to a .204 batting average.
Patton said the toughest obstacle was getting his range of motion back once he was cleared to get back on the mound.
“The swelling didn’t go away for a long time,” he said. “I’ve sprained them before and been back within 10 days of the previous injury, but this was just a bad, bad sprain and it took a long time to even get clearance to go on the field.
“I rotate over my front side really violently, so the landing and just getting over my front side, it took a little while to gain some trust and some faith that I was better. Once I got on the mound and everything was fine, it was just getting my stuff back. It’s been about a week since I’ve been able to pitch in the big leagues.”
Patton made three instructional league appearances before he was activated, and he returns to a bullpen with a much different look. He’s now one of four left-handed relievers, joining Brian Matusz, Zach Phillips and Randy Wolf (who can also be used in the rotation).
“That will be strange,” Patton said. “I’m probably not going to be pitching all the times I was before. It will be interesting to see where I’m used and what for, but I’m just happy to be here.”