Before Friday nights game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter updated the media on two rehabbing players pitcher Troy Patton and designated hitter Jim Thome.
Both could be playing in instructional league games in Sarasota, Fla., within days. And we could see them back in the majors before the season is out.
"We are hoping at the worst we get Patton in Boston next weekend," Showalter said, as reported by MLB.com. "And Jimmy hopefully right behind him.
"They were part of some good things that we'd like to take advantage of again. So, it would help anytime. But this time of year, it's as many bullets as you can arm yourself with. It'd be two guys we know are capable of helping us."
With the American League East division race showing no signs of loosening up, Thome in particular would be a handy bat to have available on the bench. It could be that the difference in winning the AL East or grabbing a wild-card berth comes down to a single swing by a pinch-hitter in a tie ballgame. And maybe Thome still has a homer or two left in his bat.