Monday, August 4, 2008

The Penn is mightier?

Like clockwork, as soon as Hayden Penn was ready to get called up to the major leagues, he went and had a freak accident that will delay his promotion for the time being.

With the need for an extra starting pitcher, the Orioles have called up AAA pitcher Chris Waters to start against the Angels on Tuesday. Penn would have likely been the team's first choice, but he was hit on the knee with the sharp end of a broken bat and needed stitches to close up the wound.

You have to feel for Penn. Last year it was appendicitis, and the year before that it was an arm injury that prevented him from getting his shot in the majors. Pretty soon you have to wonder if Hayden will be able to step outside of his house without a meteorite falling on him.

Granted, Penn hasn't been pitching very well in Norfolk this year, but he did manage to string together a few solid starts before being impaled.

In his stead, Waters is a career minor leaguer who currently has a 5.70 ERA in Norfolk this year (yikes!) but he has started to improve after being called up from Bowie, where he had a 1.69 ERA in 6 starts. Waters seems to be able to throw strikes, as his 691/392 K/BB ratio would suggest, but as Waters has risen in the minors, his K/BB ratio has gotten worse.

If anything, Waters is a warm body until Penn gets healthy. If Waters pitches to anything below a 5.00 ERA during his time in Baltimore it'll be a miracle. I expect him to be the next Travis Driskill or John Stephens.

Just another guy you bring up when playing the "name an obscure Oriole" game with friends.

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