Penn sparkles

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

O's next stop

8 shutout innings for Lynx convince O's he's ready

Newhan to return, too

Notebook

August 28, 2006|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter

Top pitching prospect Hayden Penn has apparently made his last start this season at Triple-A Ottawa. A day after the 21-year-old pitched eight shutout innings for the Lynx, Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said he doesn't feel Penn needs any more minor league starts.

At this point, the Orioles' plan is to call him up when rosters expand Friday and plug him into the starting rotation. Anything after that - such as whom the young right-hander will replace in the rotation, if anybody at all - has not been decided yet.

"We'll have to figure out a way to get him in there," Perlozzo said. "First of all, I'll tell you there's nothing set. Anything can happen from here on out. But I would think he'd [start] in the first few days of September. I would hope that would be the plan, somehow."

Perlozzo said early last week that the club would at least consider going to a six-man rotation to accommodate Penn, but he maintained yesterday that he wasn't sure if that is what the Orioles will do. If the Orioles decide to drop a pitcher from the rotation, Rodrigo Lopez remains the likely candidate, as he is 9-13 with a 6.03 ERA.

Penn is 7-4 in 14 starts for Triple-A Ottawa with a 2.26 ERA. In 87 2/3 innings, he has allowed 71 hits, 22 earned runs and 27 walks while striking out 85. On Saturday night when he pitched eight shutout innings in Ottawa's 9-0 victory over Syracuse, Penn struck out 10, allowing five hits and no walks.

The Orioles previously called up Penn on May 22 with expectations to start him the next night in Seattle. But after reporting to Safeco Field, Penn became ill and was taken to a hospital where he had an appendectomy. Orioles officials have said recently that they were waiting for Penn's arm strength and conditioning to improve before calling him up again.

Newhan buoyed at Bowie

David Newhan, who has been out since April with a fractured right fibula, will likely be joining Penn on the Orioles' roster later this week. In five games for Double-A Bowie, Newhan is 4-for-15 (.267) with no home runs and three RBIs.

"I am seeing my pitches, getting better," said Newhan, who was given yesterday off for Bowie, so he decided to work out with the Orioles at Camden Yards. "I can still use a few more at-bats. The most important thing is I am running great and I feel fine on my ankle. I feel like I can trust it."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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