Notes: Orioles option Penn to Norfolk
Move leaves Williams, Guthrie vying for long-relief spot
JUPITER, Fla. -- Hayden Penn's up-and-down Spring Training ended with the Orioles optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Norfolk, along with two other players, on Sunday."He's still a young man still working on his trade, and we still love him to death -- and you want [him] to pitch a little better than OK, that's all," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "If he would have wowed us, we seriously would have considered keeping him. He's going to be fine. We certainly want him to be in a position where he's pitching so well that we have to bring him up, which is what we did in the past."
For the spring, Penn, one of Baltimore's top pitching prospects, was 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in four games. In 10 innings, he had allowed eight hits, two earned runs, seven walks and struck out three.
"It's surprising, but a lot of guys are throwing well, so it is what it is," Penn said. "I felt like I pitched well at times, but obviously the walks were high. I've got to cut those down, but overall I felt like I pitched pretty good. Hopefully, I'll go to Triple-A, pitch well and be up here as soon as I can."
In his last start on Saturday, Penn exhibited a wide-breaking curveball in shutting out the Mets for four innings. Penn allowed four walks, including three in the third inning, and one hit. He struck out none.
On March 17, against the Marlins, Penn arrived late to the game and missed his start, but he came in later as a reliever. A sprained ankle also hampered his spring effort.
"I kind of created my own bad luck in that one situation, and obviously the ankle was unfortunate," Penn said. "But it's over; it's done. Don't worry about it now -- just try to keep pitching."
Other roster moves: Brandon Fahey and Kurt Birkins were also optioned to Norfolk, and Rob Bell and Jon Leicester were reassigned to Minor League camp. With Bell, Birkins and Penn removed, that leaves Todd Williams and Jeremy Guthrie as favorites to land a long-relief role, and John Parrish and Brian Burres as the most likely candidates should Baltimore decide to go with a second situational southpaw. Burres and Birkins were both used as spot starters last year.
Guthrie, whose chances -- according to Perlozzo -- of making the club were enhanced with Sunday's cuts, pitched a perfect fifth inning on Sunday. Parrish earned a save by striking out the side in the ninth. Williams allowed one run on two hits and one walk in the sixth.
Fahey, who spent most of last season as a utilityman in Baltimore, could be called up to reprise his role at any moment. Perlozzo said Fahey's future may depend on whether the O's decide to carry 13 pitchers to start the season.
"You're always disappointed, but you kind of expect some things," Fahey said. "When I was there last year, it was just because there was a shortage of players. Some guys got hurt, so I stayed longer than I expected last year. I didn't expect to get sent down this year, but if it happens, it happens. It happened, so I'm just going to go play wherever they tell me."Tracey impresses Perlozzo: Right-hander Sean Tracey threw a 10-minute side session on Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and Perlozzo liked what he saw. "He's got a good power arm," Perlozzo said. "He's got a nice slider and changeup." Harnessing his fastball is the main thing Perlozzo would like to see from Tracy, claimed on waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Friday. Tracy will throw another side session early this week, but will most likely not be ready to join the Opening Day roster.
"It's a pretty short time for us to get a legitimate look at him," Perlozzo said.Quotable: "He probably made them all nervous." -- Perlozzo, joking about what the other pitchers thought during Tracey's side session Defensive lapse no sweat: The Orioles made four errors in Saturday's 4-2 win against the Dodgers, but Perlozzo said it's not a sign of weakness.
"We'll give them a mulligan for it," he said. "We had four days on the road. I'm not worried about it."
The Orioles made no errors on Sunday.Short-hops: Sendy Rleal was sent to the Minor Leagues to rehabilitate from his injury. He is still on the active roster. ... The Orioles added right-hander Andy Mitchell from their Minor League camp on Saturday, and the reliever is scheduled to remain with the team through next weekend. ... The Orioles stole three bases in the first two innings on Sunday. Brian Roberts, who also stole a base in Saturday's game, stole second in the first frame, and Corey Patterson stole second and third in the second inning. ... First baseman Kevin Millar and shortstop Miguel Tejada executed a seldom-seen 3-6-3 double play to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth. Millar then hit into a 5-4-3 double play in the seventh. ... Williams walked Skip Schumaker with the bases loaded to tie the game at 5 in the sixth. He got the next batter, Albert Pujols, to line out to right to end the inning. Up next: Baltimore goes up against former Orioles right-hander Sidney Ponson in Monday's 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla. The O's counter with left-hander Adam Loewen, who comes into the game with a 2-1 record and 1.38 ERA in 13 Spring Training innings.
Faran Fagen is a contributor to MLB.com. Orioles beat reporter Spencer Fordin contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.