Simon says: “I’m in the rotation…Penn’s not.”

March 31, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Hayden Penn had his chance today and blew it.

Alfredo Simon took his chance yesterday — and made the best of it.

And with that, the O’s starting pitching rotation got a little more clear today when Dave Trembley announced that Simon will be one of the team’s five starters when the regular season begins next Monday in Baltimore.  Penn, meanwhile, got battered again today in his final spring training start, allowing 6 earned runs in 3.2 innings of work, prompting Trembley to announce after the 7-3 loss to the Cardinals that the longtime O’s prospect will not be considered for the starting rotation.

Penn, in his 7th season in the Baltimore organization, is out of minor league options and must make the 25-man roster on opening day or be waived or traded.

Two spots remain open in the rotation.  Left hander Mark Hendrickson is the most likely candidate to get one of them, with veteran Adam Eaton and 2nd year O’s hurler Brian Bass expected to battle for the one remaining spot.  

Right hander Radhames Liz was optioned to Triple AAA Norfolk earlier today by the O’s.