Corey Patterson has been, thankfully, relegated (mostly) back to the bench with the return of Felix Pie in late June. Patterson was a desprerate move and although he filled the hole in the outfield better than could have been expected, Patterson is not a starter, not even for a team as bad as the Orioles.
But I didn't come to run down Corey Patterson and point out his obvious deficiencies. I was to talk about Patterson's value as a bench player.
Patterson is not the same player that left Baltimore after the 2007 season. His hack-tastic ways are still evident but not nearly at the levels we have seen over his career.
Swing% K% BB% Career 54.7 22.4 4.7 2010 51.3 23.3 6.9
He's swinging less and walking more. Again, this doesn't representa quantum leap forward but a very noticeable and real improvement. As a result, his wOBA sits at .347, second only to his impressive partial 2003 season.
He can steal you a base, serve as a pinch runner and can play all three outfield positions. I can't imagine there will be a lot of bidding for Patterson's services and there is no other outfielder in the minors knocking on the door to Baltimore*. Is it crazy to think that Patterson would make a useful 4th outfielder? If he comes at a reasonable price, this may not be the last you see of Corey Patterson.
* Yes, Nolan Reimold is in Norfolk but his future is at 1B/DH for this team. I'm not counting him.