Assuming all goes well in Sarasota in the next two days, designated hitter Jim Thome and left-handed reliever Troy Patton will be back with the Orioles for Friday’s series opener in Boston.
They are expected to fly into Boston on Thursday and re-join the team.
“It’s not like they have been out of it since spring training. They are not that far removed,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Hopefully they’ll just come right back, especially Troy, and pick up where they left off. There will be a little unknown for the first couple times they appear.”
Patton, who was 1-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 50 games before going on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle Aug. 14, threw a two-inning simulated game in Sarasota on Tuesday. He threw 15 pitches in the first inning and 10 in the second. He also fielded two bunts. He’ll take a day off Wednesday and face some hitters on Thursday.
“We simulated that, getting off the mound and moving around,” Showalter said. “I think they actually did a 1-6-3 double play to see if his ankle is going to be OK. It feels good.”
Thome, who was batting .261 with two homers and six RBIS in 18 games with the Orioles before being placed on the DL July 31 with a neck issue that was diagnosed as a herniated disk, had four at-bats and two hits in the simulated game. He faced Patton in two of the at-bats, Showalter said.
Thome will play Wednesday in an instructional league game, and then may take some at-bats again Thursday before flying to Boston with Patton.
Thome, the 42-year-old likely Hall of Famer, will give the Orioles another presence in the lineup, but Showalter wouldn’t commit to how much he’ll play in the final two weeks.
“We’ll just see, let’s get through the next couple days,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to have our guys thinking about how does this affect me. And I don’t think our guys do. I think everybody here would love to get Jim back, as much for what he can do in the lineup as what he can do this time of year from a presence and experience factor.”