Patton, 34, made a return to the Majors in 2021 on the heels of a sharp four-year run in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, where he pitched to a 3.68 ERA over the life of 205 2/3 innings with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. He was a solid member of the Texas relief core last year, tossing 42 1/3 innings of 3.83 ERA ball with a strong 27.9% strikeout rate, an 8.7% walk rate and 41.3% grounder rate. Patton picked up his first two big league saves with the Rangers in 2021 and tacked on another 11 holds.
The 2022 season hasn’t gone as well, though Patton was mostly solid in seven big league frames back in April but missed several weeks with an oblique strain and was removed from the 40-man roster upon being activated from the injured list. The Rangers passed him through waivers back in May.
Patton yielded three runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in the Majors earlier this year and, up until a week ago, was enjoying a fine season with Triple-A Round Rock. The right-hander worked to a 3.42 ERA with a 36-to-10 K/BB ratio through his first 26 1/3 innings in Triple-A but has unraveled in epic fashion over his past three appearances. Patton was shelled for six runs (four earned) in just an inning of work on Aug. 6 and has yielded another seven runs over his next two appearances. Overall, Patton has been rocked for 13 runs (11 earned) in his past three innings of Triple-A work.
That disastrous stretch has sent his Triple-A ERA soaring to 6.44 — nearly double the point at which it sat just 11 days ago. That said, there’s no indication of an injury, and Patton has performed at an otherwise solid level for the bulk of his time since returning from Japan. A team in need of some bullpen depth down the stretch could very well give him a look in the coming days in hopes of getting him back to his 2021 form.