Baltimore Orioles: Former O’s in the News


May 22, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Troy Patton (40) pitches in the thirteenth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Indians defeated the Orioles 8-7 in thirteen innings. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

There are several former Baltimore Orioles players in the news in recent days, including Nelson Cruz – who is frankly going to be in the news every day. Leading the human race in home runs will do that. And he is a “former” Oriole in fact, as he is now a free agent.

Though a part of what has him in the news are public statements again of his preferential desire to return to the Orioles, the more I think about this and consider the costs, the more I am leaning away from it. I know that gobs of O’s fans are hoping he returns. And understand, I really, really like the guy.

But I’ve finally seen some other writer who has echoed my thoughts on several occasions in this blog. Jacob Shafer of Bleacher Report identified the same scary stats that I have repeatedly noted about his three-month, June to July .214 average. Shafer wrote…

"Cruz’s 2014 was essentially a couple of hot months sandwiched around a protracted midseason slump."

I will not be horrified if he returns, I just fear a significant disappointment is more than remotely possible, and the cost would be very high. (Do you realize that the Orioles still have $500,000 payments to Bobby Bonilla on the books for this year and next year? The last time he swung a baseball bat was just after the attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon!)  

Jason Hammel is like a box of chocolates.

Jason Hammel is mentioned on MBLTR as a possible pitching target for the Yankees, who are not thought to be actually interest in one of the big three names. He’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. After a 3.43 ERA season with the Orioles in 2012, he was 4.97 in 2013. And splitting this past year with the Cubs and A’s, he was 2.98 for the former in 17 starts, but 4.26 in 13 starts in cavernous Oakland.

Troy Patton is back in the news in the sad way he has dominated the news over the past year. He again is being suspended for a positive amphetamine test, this time for 80 games. Of course, he missed the beginning of season with the Orioles for the same offense in 2014. And after pitching poorly in nine games, he was traded to the Padres for Nick Hundley – another good move by the Baltimore Orioles. He would make it back to the majors at the end of the year and pitch well for San Diego in eight games before shoulder troubles shut him down. 

Troy Patton has no feet remaining to shoot himself.

Patton is now out of fresh feet for targets to shoot himself. Originally traded to the Orioles from Houston in 2007 as part of the Miguel Tejada deal, he also had a DWI in Houston in January of 2011.  

More from Baltimore Orioles

As an experienced lefty with some bullpen success and original plans as a starter when coming up, Patton would have certainly caught on somewhere. Over his five years with the Orioles, Patton had a combined record of 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA and WHIP of 1.172, which is fairly decent. Hopefully he can beat his ghosts and pitch again.

A minor league acquisition from the Giants last year was Johnny Monell. Hopes were high that he could provide more catching depth in the organization, but he never seemed to get untracked with the O’s. He hit just .209 in 30 games with the Tides before the Dodgers purchased him. On their AAA Albuquerque team he batted .261.  Monell was signed to a minor league contract today with the Mets.