Spencer Patton was another in a long line of relievers that the Oakland Athletics shuttled into and out of their bullpen during the 2023 season. Patton saw a couple of different stints on the active roster, but largely struggled in a small sample.
The Athletics signed Patton to a minor league deal on April 7. After a short build up in the ACL, he was assigned to Las Vegas.
What were the expectations?
Patton was another name on the list of depth arms that Oakland stashed at the minor league level. There really weren’t any expectations coming in and the fact that he got two stints on the active roster probably speaks more to the bullpen issues that the A’s had in 2023 than it does his performance.
Patton appeared in 12 games with the A’s while posting a 5.11 ERA and a 6.74 FIP in 12 1/3 innings. He appeared in 44 games at Triple A where he logged a 4.66 ERA and a 5.05 FIP in 46 1⁄3 innings. Patton’s first stint on the active roster came on May 4. He made two scoreless appearances and then allowed three runs over a three inning stint in mop up auto against the Yankees. He was designated for assignment on May 13 and outraged off the 40-man roster two days later. Oakland selected his contract again on August 21 and he made eight more appearances, allowing three runs in seven innings before he was DFA’d and outrighted a second time.
What went right? What went wrong?
Again, anytime a player signs a minor league deal and then is added to the 40-man roster multiple times, it has to be viewed as a success. Patton didn’t pitch particularly well during either of his stints.
Patton is a free agent and will turn 36 in February. He has appeared in 113 games at the major league level in his career and will probably latch on as a depth arm again next spring. Time may be running out though and he may have seen his last opportunity at the major league level.