"Ace" John Patterson has just been released by the Nationals due to "lack of performance.".

This all just happened recently, and there isn't a lot of news on it. But, sufficed to say, he wasn't as good as they hoped he'd be, and someone was tired of waiting for his promise to come true. Here are some quotes:

"They told me I didn't blow the doors open and that there were other pitchers pitching better," he said.

*On the reasons he was given for the release: "I think I wasn't progressing as fast as they wanted. They weren't seeing what they wanted to be seeing from me. For me to [ potentially] be not 100 percent -- it was a risk they weren't willing to take."

*On whether he's hurt: "I'm not hurt. I just think I didn't progress as fast as they wanted."

*Patterson also said it didn't help his case that Mark Lerner witnessed his most recent start Sunday in Fort Lauderdale against the Orioles, an admittedly rocky performance. "I pitched pretty well my [previous] two starts," Patterson said. "But he didn't see those."

*He also said he was "caught in between" Manager Manny Acta's desire for him "to get outs" and GM Jim Bowden's desire for him to throw more fastballs.

*Finally, he said, "I have great memories of D.C. and this organization. I'll always remember what it feels like to wear this uniform. Jim stuck by me as long as he could stand by me."

A lot to digest, but the last one makes it seem that it was Manny's call to cut him loose.

Kyle and I are both in agreement that a release seems hasty. Waivers would have been the better route. Or DL him. Something, anything. It's not like we have a lot of major league talent ready to go. We have a lot of young arms, but you have to have a balance between experience and youthful talent. We'll see what happens here.

Update: Courtesy of Nats Chatter:
The reason for the timing of the move: Patterson, as it turns out, had a nonguaranteed contract. By releasing him now, the Nats don't have to pay him his $850,000 salary.

Update 2: Again from Nats Chatter, here's Bowden's reasoning...
After watching Patterson pitch for the last month, Bowden (and the club) became convinced he just wasn't going to regain his velocity and command to a point where he was a better option than some of the other younger pitchers in camp (ie. John Lannan, Matt Chico). Patterson insisted he was healthy all along, but the fact his fastball never surpassed 87 mph was a sign to the Nats that things weren't going to improve for a long time.

"We believe he had better stuff last season [when he was 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA]," Bowden said. "We hoped we could get him back, and it just never came."

"We've done everything we could possibly do. He just never got the stuff back."


Agreed it seems very strange that he wasn't traded or waived. I mean, look what Bowden got for Majewski. Then again, perhaps that shows just how bad his situation was, and how much every major league scout knew it.

March 20, 2008 at 5:21 PM  

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