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Brad Pennington

What he would be doing if there were no strike: Pennington, 25, would be one of a handful of pitchers riding the bubble in the competition for making the major-league roster. The left-hander went 6-8 in 35 appearances for Triple-A Rochester, and allowed eight runs in six innings for the Orioles.

Where he is instead: Pennington is in Raleigh, N.C., where his wife is completing her degree in psychology at North Carolina State.

How he's filling his time: Pennington is working out with the North Carolina State baseball team, throwing batting practice or pitching in intrasquad games or participating in drills six days a week. "I do everything," he said, "except when it's time to shag fly balls. I kind of leave at that point." At night, Pennington goes through his running, lifting and swimming program.

What he's doing when he's not working out: "I play some golf, that sort of thing. When my wife leaves for classes, I just take over the house; I'm a house husband."

The last time he wasn't playing baseball in spring: "Wow, that goes back to Little League. I was probably playing basketball at that point."

How he's handling the wait: "It's been up and down. Sometimes I get my hopes up . . . and things don't work out [in the labor talks], and I can be hard to live with. It's tough, because we all want to be out there playing and working out. But there's nothing you can do but wait."

When he thinks the strike will end: "I'd like to think in the next eight to 10 days . . . Otherwise, I'd say May or June. That's what I would guess, if this doesn't get settled soon."

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