Even the San Francisco Giants themselves might admit that they got a little greedy with Brad Penny. He arrived in August of 2009, a pitcher the Giants knew well who’d gone from third in the Cy Young voting back in 2007 with the Los Angeles Dodgers to getting released by the Boston Red Sox.
Penny won four of his six starts with the Giants, even pitching a complete game in a 4-1 victory over Arizona. The D-Backs’ run was unearned.
Penny wasn’t a dominant pitcher with the Giants, as he struck out very few and hitters were extremely unlucky against him (.205 BABIP). Still, it was seen as a big loss by many when Penny signed with the St. Louis Cardinals that winter, a one-year deal with $7.5 million.
When San Francisco added Penny for a second time in 2012, it wasn’t after failing in Boston. Penny almost signed with the Giants before this season, but decided to play in Japan instead.
He left Japan when his team, the Softbank Hawks, asked him to throw 120 pitches a game after he threw only 12 spring-training innings because of shoulder tendinitis.
The Giants signed Penny to a minor-league deal after he called Bochy, with whom he is close, and said he was returning to the States. He was happy to accept a relief role and, while he would like to start again, he does not expect to do that here.
“I told my agent this spring I’d really rather come here than anywhere else,” he said.
That shoulder today became the reason for the Giants placing Penny on the 15-day disabled list (replaced by Dan Otero, as the Giants remain deathly afraid of going back to a 12-man staff). It’s a move that isn’t all that surprising, considering Penny’s ERA was hovering around 5 before he allowed 6 earned runs last night in two innings against the Nationals.
“Actually he had some shoulder soreness, I guess, before he went in,” Bruce Bochy said today. “Afterward it was pretty sore.”
Whether or not we’ll see Penny in a Giants uniform again is very much in doubt, but with each passing day it appears that we’ll see the return of a veteran pitcher who, along with Penny, was also included in a 6-player deal between the Dodgers and Marlins back in 2004: Guillermo Mota.
Mota’s available to come off the suspended list on Aug. 28, and presumably he’s been staying in … some sort of shape during his absence. He’ll probably fill the roll the Giants hoped Penny could, even though Penny had never been a full-time reliever and has been allowing a ton of homers since that last glory year back in 2007.
“And from this day forth,” he decreed from his dugout perch, “The second baseman will hit second.”
Here’s the exchange about the lineup from Bochy’s pregame session:
The lineup, the way it is today, is that pretty much how you’re gonna forward with that?
Bochy: “I’d say pretty close. Tomorrow Scutaro will get a day off, Theriot will be at second. He’ll probably assume the two-spot there. Yeah, I’d say this is probably going to be pretty close to what we’ll have out there for the most part.”
All this, just a couple hours after Henry Schulman writes a piece stating, “I agree it’s time” to hit Brandon Belt second in the order?
Yes, and don’t tell me any of you are surprised (about Bochy’s decision … Schulman going into #FreeBelt mode was not what I expected to see today, however). Bochy’s just happy that Belt is hitting at all, and isn’t about to change things up now. Brandon Crawford was born to hit eighth, his home run last night notwithstanding. And if Scutaro and Theriot are standing close together and you squint your eyes just right, you can almost see Freddy Sanchez.