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A Penny Earned?

by LS Murphy

Pitchers and catchers and coaches, oh my!

Reports are already streaming in from Jupiter today as pitches are gingerly tossed and muscles are gently stretched. One of the newest to the Cardinals has a lot to learn with his fifth team in his career. Brad Penny arrived in Jupiter ready to make a mark on the team, the staff, and, most importantly, the fans.

Penny was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth round in 1996 but made his major league debut with Florida on April 7, 2000. He also had his first major league win that day. He went on to win a World Series ring with the Marlins in 2003.

Traded to the Dodgers after the Marlins famous “fire sale” in 2004, Penny hit the disabled list in his second start. An attempted comeback in September of that year ended in injury that prompted him to start the 2005 season on the DL. He completed the remainder of the 2005 season fairly strong but injury free.

In 2006, Penny had the honor of being named an All Star and started for the National League under then Houston Astros manager Phil Garner. His fastball averaged 93.9 mph that season. The following season, Penny again joined the National League All Star team.

After several strong years in Dodger blue, Penny struggled in 2008. He ended up on the DL again and returned to continue his difficulties in the bullpen. He also threw a 96 mph fastball into the right jaw of umpire Kerwin Danley. Danley’s trip to the ER ended 5 hours later when he was released. The Dodgers gave up and declined the option for 2009.

Penny signed with the Boston Red Sox and the woes continued into the 2009 season. After being moved to the bullpen in favor of Tim Wakefield, Penny asked for and was granted his release at the end of August. The San Francisco Giants picked him up for the remainder of the season with the Red Sox footing all but the league minimum of 400k. Something the Red Sox did a lot in 2009.

December 7, 2009, Penny inked a one-year deal with the Cardinals.

Regardless of his bad seasons, Cardinals fans expect to see the Penny of old. With future Hall of Fame coaches Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa behind, Brad Penny can be certain of one thing, he came to the right city to rediscover that 93 mph fastball.


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Cardinals Mix blog featured writers LS Murphy,Brian F. Logush
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