Some baseball cards are more presumptuous than others. How can you assess Troy Patton's place in the history of the sport when he has twelve and two-thirds innings of major league experience? Or is Upper Deck implying that Troy's career has already been relegated to the history books? I certainly hope it's not the latter. It's easy to forget in this short-attention-span era, but this young lefty was the centerpiece of the Miguel Tejada trade, the guy that Astros fans really hated to see leave. He was one of the top prospects in their organization, a pitcher who projected to a mid-rotation starter (which would practically make him a #2 for the pitching-starved O's).
That was before he showed up in Spring Training with a sore shoulder and learned that he needed surgery to repair a torn labrum. He was done for the year, and many pessimists throughout Birdland wrote him off for good. But sports medicine is making remarkable strides each year, and Patton has already begun throwing again, with every expectation to "crank it up" in just a few weeks' time in preparation for the 2009 season. It's a little soon to talk history when it comes to Troy Patton, whether it be good or bad. My fingers are crossed, though.