August 27, 2009

Brad Penny likes country music, MMA and fastballs - but not Boston

When my friend Dylan and I went to a Spokane Indians game on Tuesday, the Indians' starting pitcher was getting shelled the first two innings - giving up three runs and a bushel of hits - causing me to make this statement.

"I didn't know Brad Penny was pitching for Spokane this year."

To which Dylan replied...

"Hey come on, give this guy a chance, he's only given up three in two innings."

Ladies and gentlemen Brad Penny! He was just recently released by the Red Sox after being asked to be let out of his contract. Something tells me that he just wasn't thrilled being called a f****** p**** by fans after yet another five-inning, five run performance on the mound.

My new favorite site,, thinks that Penny will have plenty of options.

Even with his recent struggles, he’s running a 4.48 FIP on the season, thanks to recording twice as many strikeouts as walks and maintaining a neutral home run rate. That makes him around a league average starting pitcher for the season. Yes, he throws his fastball too much, but that’s always been true – he’s averaged 70% or more fastballs every year since 2004, and he’s proven he can be at least moderately successful pounding the zone with heaters.

The chink in his results – a .336 batting average on balls in play, which isn’t particularly predictive of anything. ZIPS projects a 4.44 FIP from Penny going forward, and that’s assuming he stays in the American League. Someone’s going to get a quality pitcher for nothing – who are the contenders for his services?

Make that two Boston Red Sox starting pitchers that have been run out of town. What a wonderful season.

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