Thanks, Brad Penny. But it may be time to move on.

Luck hasn't been on his side, I will give him that. Penny has had to deal with a .326 BABIP, while surrendering line drives on only 18 percent of batted balls against. And his LOB percentage is at 66, which is far too low. Eventually, he should strand a few more base-runners.

But it is his love with the fastball, and the home run that is killing him. Do you know how often Penny throws the fastball? 73 percent of the time! This is the American League East, Brad. There has to be somewhat of a reliance on the breaking stuff too. Maybe he doesn't feel comfortable throwing it. And he doesn't always seem to have command of it. But his curveball has a "Pitch Type Value" of -15.4. That is horrendous.

Point is, he has no viable pitch outside of the fastball, and at times he even struggles with that. That is why he is so reliant on it. he simply cannot do anything positive with the breaking ball.

When injuries arise, solutions aren’t always easy to come by. So with Wakefield and Daisuke sidelined, and with the Red Sox hesitant to promote Michael Bowden, there may not be many of those “solutions” available. Yet, I shall try.
But Brad Penny shouldn’t be in this rotation much longer. Not when he can’t reach the seventh inning–ever. And not when he seems to labor through the innings that he does get through, while giving up plenty of runs along the way.
Luck hasn’t been on his side, I will give him that. Penny has had to deal with a .326 BABIP, while surrendering line drives on only 18 percent of batted balls against. And his LOB percentage is at 66, which is far too low. Eventually, he should strand a few more base-runners.
But it is his love with the fastball, and the home run that is killing him. Do you know how often Penny throws the fastball? 73 percent of the time! This is the American League East, Brad. There has to be somewhat of a reliance on the breaking stuff too. Maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable throwing it. And he doesn’t always seem to have command of it. But his curveball has a “Pitch Type Value” of -15.4. That is horrendous.
Point is, he has no viable pitch outside of the fastball, and at times he even struggles with that. That is why he is so reliant on it. he simply cannot do anything positive with the breaking ball.
That is why, even while luck has been against him, that the sooner he leaves the rotation, the better. He is taxing the bullpen, and his quality of pitching is just not very good. Serviceable? Maybe–on a team that doesn’t have playoff aspirations.
My solution? The Sox should either promote Bowden for now. Or possibly continue to ride Penny until Dice-K and Wakefield can get back into this rotation.
Anyway, on a positive note, Penny’s 4.57 FIP isn’t terrible, but it isn’t good. And when Wakefield comes back, they might have a tough decision to make. Because as ludicrous as this might sound, I may have more faith in Tazawa then I do with the fastball happy, and declining, Brad Penny.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Brad Penny Daisuke Matsuzaka Junichi Tazawa Michael Bowden Tim Wakefield

8 Responses to “Thanks, Brad Penny. But it may be time to move on.” Subscribe

  1. Alex August 17, 2009 at 12:34 AM #

    You would really boot Penny before Tazawa once Wakefield comes back? Penny's last few outings have been rocky, but before that he was on a pretty even keel. It's true that he's got problems and in all rightfulness, he shouldn't be a #3 starter right now, but what he's giving us is about as much as we could've reasonably expected from him when we signed him. At least he's a known quantity, and, as you said, things should shake out a little more in his favor once his BABIP and strand rates regress. Tazawa hasn't exactly been lighting it up in what little we've seen from him and you can't honestly expect him to perform better than Penny consistently and indefinitely. I mean, come on. He got called up straight from AA and obviously needs more work in the minors.
    I do agree that Bowden is overlooked here and he'll definitely be a September callup, but he's running a 4.24 FIP in AAA this year and doesn't deserve a spot in the rotation any more than Tazawa right now.

  2. Bob August 17, 2009 at 2:50 AM #

    might as well throw him out there, this team isn't making the playoffs anyways no use in changing anything this late

  3. JoeSox August 17, 2009 at 3:16 AM #

    Really, you could see this happening from the game where Ellsbury set a record catching fly balls in the outfield. Eventually those balls would either start leaving the park or start finding holes.
    Unfortunately injuries to key figures in our rotation have pressed the need to keep him around, despite his historic second-half slumps. I can't help but think that if Dice-K was even halfway decent Penny would have been traded before this kind of thing happens, but oh well, you have to play with the hand you're dealt.
    We can still make the playoffs, it ain't over 'til it's over, etc. etc. I'm confident now and I'll continue to be confident until it's October and the Sox are getting an early start on their offseason rest.

  4. Orange Julius August 17, 2009 at 7:48 AM #

    Yeah but NOW he said he is going to concentrate on holding runners on. So he's got that going for him.

  5. jvwalt August 17, 2009 at 8:40 AM #

    I ain't kickin' anyone out of the rotation right now. Maybe after Dice-K and Wake come back and prove they can handle the load — then we can dump Penny or make him the long reliever if we want. But not now.
    I'm also nowhere near despair on 2009. In spite of all our issues, we're a half game out of the playoffs, contending with a team notorious for late-season fades. Yes, the Sox do need to play better, and yes, they need to get a lot healthier. They've got the time and talent to do so. Not saying they will; injuries and age could make 2009 a lost season. But there's lots of time left.

  6. Joe Veno August 17, 2009 at 8:57 AM #

    I haven't given up either. I have just come to the conclusion that this is a good team or above average team, rather than a great team. Things might change because there are ways the rotation can improve if things break right. For example: Buchholz continuing to get better, Dice and Wake returning. I definitely haven't abandoned hope though.

  7. marcos August 17, 2009 at 3:31 PM #

    The Sox should Sign padilla. I don't care if he he is a bad teammate, at least he throws an above average fastball.

  8. jvwalt August 17, 2009 at 11:05 PM #

    I think Padilla's availability has more to do with his horrible numbers than his clubhouse persona. ERAs, last 3 years: 5.76, 4.74, and 4.92. WHIP, ditto: 1.63, 1.46, and 1.5. This will improve things exactly how?