By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
1:57 PM EST, February 1, 2014
Left-handed relief pitcher Troy Patton said he’s not sure what his spring will be like, but he understands that getting him work is not a priority for the Orioles.
“It’s going to be kind of interesting to see how Buck [Showalter] handles it,” said Patton, who will be suspended for the first 25 games of the season for testing positive for amphetamines. “I don’t know if he is going to pitch me [in] all the road games because of my malfeasance or what. Or if I’m not going to pitch at all so the other guys can get more looks.”
That’s his fault, Patton said, for taking an Adderall pill – used mainly for patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – without a prescription. He said he took it the week before the season ended to keep focused.
“I knew I shouldn’t. It was a stupid mistake, especially having failed one prior test [also because of Adderall],” Patton said. “I made the mistake, and now I am just ready to deal with it and hopefully come back the 26thgame.”
Patton said he tried to get a Major League Baseball clearance to use Adderall in the past, but he has never been diagnosed with ADHD. He said fans and the team should know this will not occur again.
“I am not going to keep Adderall within a mile of me at all. It’s a much more serious penalty next time, it’s 80 games,” Patton said. “So my assurance to people is that I can’t afford to miss half a season, obviously. So it’s not even going to be a question. It’s no longer in my repertoire at all. It’s over with.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Patton will be a “slow play” in the spring, because of the suspension. That means, though Patton will be able to pitch this spring, he likely won't get many opportunities.
“Why would I give him innings when he can’t pitch until April something when I can use that to evaluate somebody else?” Showalter said. “I’m not going to have him pitch in an intrasquad game and then there are two months before he pitches [in the majors]. ... He may not pitch a whole lot before we break camp.”
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