As spring training opens up, hope springs eternal for many players throughout Florida and Arizona. Rookies are looking to make an impression on their coaches, newcomers are trying to prove they are worth their big contracts and veterans are trying to be just impressive enough to break camp with the big club. On Sunday, however, that dream ended quickly for left-handed reliever Troy Patton.
Patton is a 30-year-old pitcher who was in camp with the Miami Marlins after signing a minor league contract with the club in late December. He holds a career 3.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, and was effective in Triple A in 2015, pitching to a 2.37 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Patton was in camp with the Marlins, trying to earn a spot in the bullpen. With the Marlins potentially in need of a second lefty in the ‘pen, Patton certainly had a chance to earn a spot.
Before Grapefruit League play even came close to beginning, however, Patton was released by the Fish. It is unclear what led the team to release the lefty, but he was coming off a season in which he served a PED suspension, so of course that comes to mind. Another potential reason for his release may have been that he was given an opportunity to play for a Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese professional team and simply asked the Marlins for his release. Surely, more details will emerge soon and the truth of Patton’s release will be made known, but it is an interesting development early in spring training that could mean something, or could mean absolutely nothing at all. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open, Marlins fans. Never a dull moment.