Sunday, May 21, 2006

Expect SP Hayden Penn in Baltimore This Week

Sam Perlozzo keeps talking up John Halama or Kurt Birkins as the next Orioles SP, but he doesn't know anything. He's just the manager. The truth is that the Birds will call young Hayden Penn from AAA Ottawa, and he will likely stick. Despite Hayden Penn's rocky performance in eight starts for the big club last year, he remains the team's best bet to replace Daniel Cabrera, currently on the disabled list, when a fifth starter is needed at midweek. Penn likely will stay in the rotation as Bruce Chen may be demoted to the pen unless he turns his game around immediately. Perlozzo is losing patience. The pressure is so intense, in fact, that even opening day SP Rodrigo Lopez may not be safe. In Penn's most recent outing, he dropped his ERA to 1.48 with a seven-inning complete game, 2-0 shutout over the Syracuse Chiefs. Penn is right on schedule to start for the Orioles within five days.