With his recent struggles it was no surprise Hayden Penn was optioned to Class AA Bowie by the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. In his past two starts, Penn allowed 12 runs in 52/3 innings.
"I think he impressed all of us stuff-wise with what he has," Orioles Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "But you have to remember he's 20 years old."
The Orioles hope Penn, who was 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts, can work on his command in the minors. Penn was disappointed by the move, but said he knew he likely wasn't going to spend the entire season with the major league club.
"I know there's some things I have to work on," Penn said. "I have to have more faith in my fastball. Past few games I think I've wavered from that."
Mazzilli said the Orioles were impressed with Penn's demeanor despite the struggles. Mazzilli said he often thought he was talking to a 40-year-old instead of a 20-year-old during conferences on the mound with Penn.
"He's not a 'deer in the headlights' type of thing," Mazzilli said.
To replace Penn on the roster, the team will call up left-handed pitcher Tim Byrdak, who has a 2.11 ERA in 381/3 innings for AAA Ottawa. Byrdak will be used in relief as the Orioles will use a four-man rotation until the all-star break.
Mora Might Get Start
Mazzilli said if Melvin Mora feels well he likely will start on Saturday.
"It's more or less in his court," Mazzilli said of the third baseman. "It's up to the individual. They know best."
Prior to Friday, the Orioles were just 1-7 in Mora's absence.