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Former Astro Troy Patton suspended for amphetamines


Former Astros lefty Troy Patton, who is currently with the Baltimore Orioles, has been suspended 25 games for the use of a banned amphetamine. Patton told The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly that he took an Adderall four days before the 2013 season ended and was tested the next day.

Patton, you may recall, was a highly touted prospect in the Astros organization before being sent to the Orioles in the trade that brought Miguel Tejada to Houston. Oddly enough, Tejada is currently serving a 105 game suspension for the same drug. Tejada’s MLB career may be over, but Patton should be back in Baltimore after sitting out the first 25 games of the upcoming season.

Troy Patton (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The left-hander from Tomball has enjoyed a couple of outstanding seasons out of the Orioles’ bullpen. His best season was 2012, when he pitched to a 2.43 ERA and a 1.024 WHIP in 55 & 2/3 innings. Last season Patton regressed a bit, posting an ERA+ of 114, compared to the outstanding 175 figure he put up in 2012. But he was still a workhorse, pitching in 56 games and piling up a total of 56 innings.

Zach Britton, who has worked primarily as a starter, could be used to fill the role of lefty reliever while Patton is out. The Orioles also made headlines today with the announcement that they have backed out of the deal that would have brought Grant Balfour in to be their closer. Orioles doctors contend that Balfour’s shoulder isn’t sound. All the while the right-hander from Australia insists that he is 100 percent.

In other news regarding players included in the Miguel Tejada trade, our old pal Luke Scott has signed a 1-year contract to play in Korea. Apparently there wasn’t an American market for an injury prone 35-year old DH that has posted league average numbers over the past three seasons. Scott joins former Astro Eric Thames as one of the most recent foreign imports to the Korean Baseball Organization.

Although Luke was never a highly touted prospect and didn’t make it to the majors until he was 27, his first five full seasons were pretty darn solid. Scott posted an OPS of  .800 or better in 2006 and 2007 with the Astros and again in ’08, ’09, and 2010 with the Orioles. Since then, he has failed to top the .750 mark. Here’s wishing Luke and his Wolverine-style mutton chops a wealth of success in the KBO.

Another player that was sent to Baltimore in exchange for Tejada back in 2008, Matt Albers, was also in the news recently. I seem to recall something about him and a homecoming.

As for the other guys that the Astros dealt away for “Miggy”,  Mike Costanzo was last seen toiling in the Cincinnati Reds farm system and Dennis Sarfate has been pitching in Japan for three years.