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.