BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles placed left-hander Troy Patton on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after he sprained his right ankle walking in a parking garage.
“Guess we’re going to have to start taping ankles away from the ballpark, too,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Patton is part of an outstanding bullpen that has kept Baltimore in contention 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,” said Patton, who has a walking boot and crutches. “I haven’t felt as good as I’ve felt recently on the mound my whole career.”
Patton rolled the ankle Sunday night. It’s the third time this season he’s hurt the same ankle, but this time the injury was serious.
“I woke up and it was throbbing, and I just realized it was probably 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 began 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 contract 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 Indians to a minor league deal July 21 and pitched in eight games for Triple-A Columbus.
Showalter said the injury to Patton made the acquisition of the 36-year-old Romero “more pressing.”
Thus, Romero finally made it to Baltimore after failing to do so earlier this season as a member of the organization.
“It’s baseball. I was telling a couple of 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 at times and it just happened that the first time around I didn’t get a chance to be here with the guys. But I’m here now and I’m trying to make the best of it.”
In an effort to get more left-handed depth in the bullpen, the Orioles are going to ask former first-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 four seasons, none of them in relief.
“We’ll do it a couple times before we consider it an option,” Showalter said of using Matusz out of the bullpen. “I’d be surprised if he can’t 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 make room 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 as a fill-in as a starter later in the week, Showalter said.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)