Taking a cue from the Marcum and Kershaw threads, how about Brad Penny? What is the Cafe consensus on what's in-store for the Dodgers' starter over the rest of the season...?
Despite the brutal start this year (5-9, 5.88 ERA), we can't forget that Penny is only one season removed from a 3.03 ERA and is the owner of consecutive 16-win seasons. Slated to return from the DL and take the mound on August 8th against the Giants, Penny made a rehab start tonight for AAA Las Vegas; here's the line:
4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (55 pitches, 44 strikes)
"When you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's when you know you are a bad man." -Manuel A. Ramirez
he's not that good of a pitcher. he doesn't k enough but walks hitters a lot, giving him a terrible k/bb ratio. he started off hot last year but came back to earth over the last few months. i wouldn't expect too much.
Vin Scully also pointed out that he hit 98 on the gun.He's scheduled to start Friday @ SF and his projected schedule is not imposing: 8/8-@SF 8/13-Phil 8/19-Col 8/24-@Phil 8/29@Az 9/3-SD 9/9-@SD 9/15-@Pit 9/20-SF 9/26-@SF
Given this schedule and him not pitching for two months(he's rested so his second half swoon are less concerning) I think I'd roll the dice here.
Last year, Penny didn't have the disastrous second half that sullied his overall numbers in '06. Much of it had to do with better stamina and arm strength conditioning. This season, his velocity has been a bit down. The ability for Penny to hit 95-98 would be nice but keep in mind his HR rate was abnormally low last year and he's had a big-time correction in that so far. Easy to pin that on the lack of velocity but generally Penny hasn't been able to go deep into games that frequently (last year he managed to though) because that cut fastball would just flatten over the plate for foulballs every so often.
I'd temper my expectations for Penny but I'd keep tabs on him the first couple of starts.
I don't know how much 2nd half success or lack there of translates when the guy has barely even pitched a 1st half, I don't have any #'s on this, but if they did it would indicate the trend is all mental which seems counterintuitive to the situation.