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Former Dust Devils pitcher making impression on Cubs

Earlier this month, I wrote about former Tri-City Dust Devils infielder Everth Cabrera, who was picked in the Rule 5 draft by the San Diego Padres. He made the quick jump to the majors and has started several games for the Padres this year. He has done extremely well for them, too, hitting .319 will 11 runs and three steals in 16 games.

But another former Dust Devil was also chosen in the Rule 5 draft this year by the Cincinatti Reds — pitcher David Patton. The 6-foot-3 right-hander started seven games in Tri-City in 2005, going 3-5 with a 6.00 ERA before being promoted to Asheville. He spent 2006 in Asheville as well, then the last two seasons at Modesto.

But this year, the Reds liked him enough to give him a shot at the majors. Apparently, the Cubs saw something they liked, too, and traded for him before the season began.

Patton, a lanky redhead with a live fastball and plus curve, hasn't disappointed his new skipper, Lou Piniella, who has given the 24-year-old hopeful every chance to succeed. Patton impressed the former Mariners' boss in spring training, striking out nine batters while walking none in seven Cactus League games.

"I'm going to tell you this: He's in the picture here," Piniella said to CBS.sportsline at the time.

So far this season, Patton has pitched in 16 games for the Cubs, going 3-1 with a 5.62 ERA. In his last six games, he is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA and eight strikeouts.