Thursday, March 20, 2008

Make Lemonade

"What is what to do when life hands you lemons?". Scott Patterson might have thought he was handed a bunch of lemons when he jammed in his finger in a doorway three years ago. But being switched from a starter, where he struggled, to a reliever, where he has excelled, has given Patterson's career a new lease on life.
“I stubbed my finger in a door at my host family’s house in Lancaster,” Patterson said. “They brought me back slowly and said, ‘Could you work out of the pen?’ It was my first time ever doing that, and I just let it go for an inning. I was up to 90, 91, 92 miles an hour, and I was like, This could be good; let me stay here for a little bit.”
Patterson has put up a 1.47 ERA in 70 minor league games, all but one at the Double-A affiliate. This year Patterson has an excellent shot of going north with the big club this season.
“He’s made enough of an impression that we think he’ll help us at some point this season,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “We don’t know where he’ll start, but he’s still here.”
The injury allowed Patterson to better establish his fastball (nicknamed the "Invisiball" by teammates because "no one hits it") and slow curve. His herky jerky motion adds to his repertoire by keeping hitters off balance.

Though he expects to start the season at Triple-A, Patterson's made a case for himself by not allowing a run this spring. Considering the way the pen has underperformed the last several years, he'd be a welcome addition.

Source: NY Times

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