Corey Patterson arrived in Syracuse with his Norfolk Tides late last night and that's where he is this afternoon, amid the rumors that he'll be getting called up to the Orioles.
I talked to Patterson around noon and he said he was unaware of Orioles manager Dave Trembley's comments that the club is keeping tabs on Patterson's success at Triple-A and that changes could come at the big-league level before Tuesday's game.
"Me, personally, I haven't heard anything yet," said Patterson, who is batting .367 with four doubles, three steals and a .415 on-base percentage in 12 games with Norfolk. "I'm hoping to keep with my approach and keep working hard and, for me, that's all you can do. I won't believe anything until it happens."
If you know the Orioles, you know Patterson's story. He was a can't-miss prospect with the Chicago Cubs (third pick overall in 1998 draft), but he never could reach the lofty expectations there. The Orioles gave up two minor leaguers for him in 2006 and he had two solid years with them, including 2006 when he hit 16 homers, batted .276 and had 45 steals. But he never could raise his on-base percentage high enough to be a leadoff or No. 2 hitter, and the Orioles didn't re-sign him after 2007.
He bounced around with a few organizations, and after not making the Seattle Mariners this spring, went back home to Georgia, worked out and waited for the phone to ring.
He said he had a few offers to play Triple-A, but settled with the Orioles, because he knew the organization and some key members of the organization knew him.
"When they were talking to me they were very upfront," Patterson said. "And I think all I was really looking for was an opportunity to show what I can do."
Now, because outfielders Lou Montanez, Nolan Reimold and Adam Jones have struggled with the Orioles this season, he could get that opportunity soon. Maybe he'll get that nod as soon as tonight or tomorrow, with Montanez – or possibly Reimold – being demoted.
But Patterson, one of the nicer guys in baseball, won't think about that until it becomes official.
"It's one thing for people to talk about it – and certainly that's been positive, of course – but until it happens, I can't think about it happening."