Reliever John Parrish packed up his belongings quietly in the far corner of the Orioles' clubhouse before last night's game, headed to the last destination that he expected at this point of the season.
The left-hander, whose 3.12 ERA masked control problems he has fought all season, was optioned to Double-A Bowie as the Orioles purchased the contract of Baysox right-handed closer Chris Ray.
"That's the way it is," Parrish said. "I am just going to have to go down there and work my way back. It's a little setback. I know I haven't been that consistent. I go out and throw a good game and come back and walk three guys."
Parrish was sent to Bowie and not Triple-A Ottawa because he doesn't have a Canadian visa. Parrish was arrested before the 2003 season on a charge of driving under the influence, although Orioles vice president Mike Flanagan said that had nothing to do with the situation.
Starting the season primarily as a long reliever, Parrish, who pitched well last season in his first full year in the majors, has given up six earned runs in 17 1/3 innings, but he also surrendered 19 hits and walked 17.
"He's a kid that has tremendous stuff, but he needs to be able to command his pitches and he needs to get in on a regular basis and work," said Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli. "We're trying to let him pitch every other day where he can be more consistent. I want him to get back up here and help down the stretch, but he needs to have more command."
At one point, Parrish took the mound just once in a 22-game stretch from April 21 to May 15. He declined to use his inactivity as an excuse.
"I should be out there ready to throw at any time," he said. "[I'm] fighting myself, that's about it. I am ready to accept it and go down there and work."
Mazzilli plans to use Ray in the middle innings to help get to closer B.J. Ryan.
Snyder makes impact
First-round draft pick Brandon Snyder gave the Orioles a taste of his potential in batting practice yesterday. In his first appearance since signing, Snyder, a catcher, hit three over the center-field wall as an entourage of 60 family members and friends cheered.
Snyder's swings caught the eye of Mazzilli who said, "The kid swings the bat, he's got juice."
Friendly taunting from B.J. Surhoff helped Snyder calm his nerves and whet his appetite for a quick return to Oriole Park. The Centreville, Va., native grew up watching the Orioles. His first stop will be with the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League this summer.
Of his first workout, Snyder said: "It's a dream come true. It gives you that hunger to want to get there and stay there in Baltimore for a long time."
While the high school senior was eager to sign, Mazzilli said the Orioles will give him time to develop.
"You do not want to rush a young kid like that," Mazzilli said. "With a pretty promising career ahead of him, you want to make sure everything's right."
Aside from agreeing on a contract, Snyder still has one more hurdle to overcome: graduating on June 22.
"I've got school tomorrow, guys," Snyder said.
Around the horn
Orioles catcher Javy Lopez (broken hand) will have X-rays today. Lopez, who was hurt May 24, was originally supposed to be out two months, but he is ahead of schedule. ... Outfielder Ramon Nivar was optioned to Ottawa to make room for Larry Bigbie. ... Outfielder Luis Matos began his rehab assignment in Trenton last night for Bowie.