Left-hander Troy Patton -- who has allowed runs in five of his last six relief outings -- has started throwing bullpen sessions, hoping that the patterned repetitions can help refine his mechanics.
Relievers usually don't throw regular side sessions because they’re on call on a daily basis, but Patton said he wanted to start after struggling with his fastball command.
“I’m just trying to get back to what made me good,” Patton said. “I really just wanted to it to work on duplicating mechanics because my missed haven’t been smaller than last year. Aim small, miss small. My misses have been much more dramatic this season.”
Patton, who was a lockdown lefty reliever for the Orioles last season, has struggled with consistency in his outings this year. In his last appearance on Tuesday night in Washington, he retired the Nationals in order on 10 pitches in the seventh, but then allowed two runs on four hits in the eighth, including an Adam LaRoche homer.
“Strikes are No. 1 and that’s why when I have an outing like I did in Washington, strikes weren’t the issue,” Patton said. “I was throwing strikes. I was giving up hits. Two of the hits were on pitches that I thought were decent pitches. That’s why you can’t get too wrapped up in it. Certain things are out of control. I’m more concerned with the process right now. The process is what it should be and now I just need to put it together for a full outing and not just stints at a time.”
Patton said he’s fine physically, but that this season has been a battle.
“I’m healthy,” he said. “I’m actually more healthy now than I was last year. My arm really didn’t feel that good last year. I had to grip my way through a lot of it last year. Health isn’t the issue. It’s repetition.”