Patton, obtained in Tejada deal, opts for shoulder surgery

Updated: March 7, 2008, 11:49 AM ET
Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Troy Patton will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, delaying the left-hander's debut with the Baltimore Orioles until at least 2009.

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Obtained in the December trade that sent Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros, Patton arrived at spring training camp with a sore shoulder and never got to pitch in an exhibition game. He halted a side-session Sunday after 10 pitches, and an arthrogram in Baltimore on Wednesday revealed a torn labrum.

"We decided we're going to get surgery. I'm going to go to Dr. (Lewis) Yocum in L.A.," Patton said Friday. "We're going to call him and try to set up something next week."

Patton was shut down in Houston last September with left biceps tendinitis, so the Orioles knew there was a chance he would have problems with his left arm this spring. Before the trade with the Astros was completed, Baltimore was provided an MRI of Patton's left shoulder.

"It's pretty much what I expected. I could've gone a different way (but) sometimes you've got to go the high-risk, high-reward type deal," said Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations. "I could've had a different player in there, but (Patton is) 22, left-handed and already worked his way to the big leagues. I can wait."

Patton can wait, too. He's eager to begin anew with the Orioles, but most of all, he wants to pitch without pain -- something he couldn't do with his shoulder in its current condition.

"It's kind of disappointing to miss the season, but I'm kind of anxious to get it over with and hopefully feel better and pitch better next season, have a little bit more velocity than I've been pitching with," he said.

Patton was examined this week by Dr. John Wilckens, the team orthopedist. Wilckens suggested the pitcher see Yocum for a second opinion, but made it apparent that surgery seemed the only option.

The Orioles weren't going to be a contender this season, with or without Patton, so waiting a year was not a problem.

"Sometimes you need to swing for the fences as part of a deal," MacPhail said. "I'm obviously very satisfied with the way the other guys from that deal have handled themselves so far in spring. No regrets from my standpoint."

The four other players obtained in the trade are Luke Scott, Dennis Sarfate, Matt Albers and Mike Costanzo. Scott is expected to start in left field on opening day; Dennis Sarfate will almost certainly earn a place in the bullpen; Albers is vying for the fifth spot in the rotation; and Costanzo started the day with a .474 batting average but will likely begin the season in Triple-A.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press