Patterson jams finger, salvages career

A little over a month ago, we learned a little about Scott Patterson. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten to see him in action, and it’s been rather pretty. The results, that is, not his “herky-jerky motion,” which we’ll hopefully all come to know and love soon enough. Today, king beat writer Tyler Kepner shares something else about Patterson with us: If it wasn’t for a stubbed finger, he might never have gotten his shot to play in the bigs.

“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.

Prior to his finger-jamming incident, Patterson’s only taste of big league ball was a short stint in camp with the Seattle Mariners. They didn’t feel he was worth a spot on their A-ball roster, though, and let him go back to the independent leagues.

After the injury, though, Patterson started focusing on his fastball and slow curve. Eventually, he caught the attention of Yanks’ scout Cesar Presbott, who brought him into the organization. After fixing a “slight hesitation in his delivery,” Patterson was set. He steamrolled through AA Trenton last year, tossing 74.1 innings to the tune of a 1.09 ERA, with opponents hitting just .170 off him. And I’m not sure what is more impressive: That he struck out 91 in those 74.1 innings, or that he allowed only one homer in that time.

Giardi sums him up perfectly:

“All he’s done is get everybody out,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s been pretty unbelievable. He’s gotten us out of jam after jam. He has a chance.”

Three of the seven spots in the Yanks pen are seemingly up for grabs. It’s looking more and more like Patterson will nab one of them.