There’s the flier we’ve been waiting for all offseason. This time it comes in the form of starting pitcher Brad Penny, who sat out all of 2012 on his own accord and is now trying to work his way back into the Major Leagues.
High school wunderkind Chris Cotillo has you covered over at MLB Daily Dish.
The Kansas City Royals have agreed to sign pitcher Brad Penny to a minor league contract that includes a spring training invite, according to a baseball source. Penny, who sat out last season after appearing in the majors with the Giants in 2012, will go to camp as a starter for the Royals.
Penny had told Cotillo earlier in the offseason of his plans to try to come back this season. After taking 2012 off, Penny moved to Kansas City to work with trainer Joe Potts. The time to rest his body and get back it shape, he says, should get him back into good form.
“I’ve been just getting my strength up and working, I’ve been throwing bullpens lately. I feel a lot better. I’m not where I need to be yet, but there’s no pain, so I feel so much better than I’ve ever felt in the offseason. I’ve always had that feeling that I may not be able to make it through 162 games. I’ve never really lifted like I have been this offseason either. I’m doing heavy weights, just building my strength up, and going from there and trying to maintain it the whole year.”
“I’m not throwing full-out yet. I’m throwing pain-free off the mound, and my body feels good and strong, but I couldn’t tell you I could go out and get a lineup out right now.”
It is generally assumed the Royals rotation has four locks: James Shields, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, and Danny Duffy. The fifth spot is up for competition between Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar, and Yordano Ventura. We can now throw Penny into that mix. Ultimately, the fifth spot is going to be Ventura’s, but if Kansas City can get two good months from one of Davis, Hochevar, or Penny then the Royals can save Ventura’s arm and add another year of control contractually.
Penny’s last full season as a starter was in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers, posting a 11-11 record with an 5.30 ERA in 181.2 innings. For his career, Penny is 119-100 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s spent time with the then Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tigers.