O's send Penn back to Bowie to improve, call reliever Byrdak

Mora to run bases today

Parrish Strains elbow, will be sidelined a month


July 02, 2005|By Ken Murray and Jeff Zrebiec | Ken Murray and Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Hayden Penn's first trip to the major leagues produced two wins, a world of promise and diminishing returns. The whirlwind odyssey ended yesterday when the Orioles returned their 20-year-old pitcher to Double-A Bowie.

The team will replace Penn on the roster with left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak from Triple-A Ottawa today. For now, at least, the Orioles plan to use a four-man starting rotation into the All-Star break.

Their plans for Penn are for him to resolve a few issues and restore his confidence at Bowie.

"We'll see after the All-Star break whether there's another opportunity for him or somebody else, maybe even for [injured pitcher Erik] Bedard to come back by then," said executive vice president Jim Beattie.

Penn went 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts after being called up May 28. But he gave up 12 runs and 15 hits in his last 5 2/3 innings, including a 9-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

Manager Lee Mazzilli arrived at the mound during one visit Thursday with a big smile in an attempt to calm the rookie, but he insisted yesterday that Penn was not shaken.

"The kid's got a pretty good makeup for a 20-year-old," Mazzilli said. "He'll go out and pitch, and although he's 20, you'd think you're talking to a veteran out there because he has the idea of what he wants to do.

"Was he pressing? Is that human nature for a 20-year-old? I would guess [so]."

Mazzilli wants Penn to work on the location of his pitches. Penn also wants to regain confidence in his fastball.

Asked what he needed to work on in Bowie, Penn said: "Fastball command ... and have more faith in the fastball. The last two games I felt like I've wavered from that."

Beattie acknowledged both the positives Penn displayed here and the step back he took toward the end.

"First time up in the big leagues, he came up and gave us a chance to win games," Beattie said. "He had a couple games where he left with leads and really could've had a couple more wins with some breaks."

The Orioles will have to make a corresponding move on their 40-man roster when they purchase Byrdak's contract today, probably attempting to push a minor leaguer through waivers. Byrdak, 31, was 3-2 with 11 saves and a 2.11 ERA in 36 games at Ottawa.

Parrish ailing

Sent down to Double-A Bowie on June 13 to work on his control, left-handed reliever John Parrish will be sidelined for about a month because of a strained ligament in his left elbow.

Parrish, who was placed on the disabled list, will head to Sarasota, Fla., to start rehabilitation at the club's minor league complex.

Looking for relief

Though several veteran relievers, such as the Chicago Cubs' Joe Borowski and the New York Yankees' Paul Quantrill and Mike Stanton, were designated for assignment this week and could be available, Beattie said it's unlikely the Orioles will look outside the organization for bullpen help.

"I think we are going to get the bullpen straightened out with the guys that we have internally," he said.

Beattie said it's possible the club will get back Jason Grimsley, who is on a rehabilitation assignment with Bowie, before the All-Star break.

Around the horn

Bedard will throw off the mound today and again Monday and if all goes well, he could go on a rehab assignment shortly. ... The first 25,000 fans 21 and over at today's game will receive a Miguel Tejada bobblehead doll.

Palmeiro's quest for 3,000 hits


Last night: 0-for-3 with a walk vs. the Indians

Today: 1:35 p.m., vs. Indians (Millwood, 3-5)

Sun staff writer Roch Kubatko contributed to this article.

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