• News From The North: Unlucky Penny

    Posted by on August 27th, 2009 · Comments (21)

    ESPN.com is reporting that the Boston Red Sox have granted Brad Penny his release.

    With Wakefield coming back strong last night, I guess Penny saw the writing on the wall and proactively decided that he’d rather jump ship than suffer the same humiliation as John Smoltz.

    Boston’ s rotation is now Beckett-Lester-Wakefield-Buchholz-??

    -Posted by MJ

    Comments on News From The North: Unlucky Penny

    1. Corey
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:42 am

      ?? = tazawa?

    2. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:45 am

      @ Corey:
      I guess so. Either that or it’s Matsuzaka if he can get back in time. One way or another, it’s not a pitcher any better or worse than Penny.

    3. YankCrank
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:48 am

      Remember when all the Red Sox lovers on ESPN said there was a “very strong chance” Smoltz and Penny would have more wins than CC and AJ at the end of the season?

    4. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:52 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      Remember when all the Red Sox lovers on ESPN said there was a “very strong chance” Smoltz and Penny would have more wins than CC and AJ at the end of the season?

      Of course I remember that. Laughable.

      FWIW, Theo’s gambles on those two were certainly justifiable and intelligent moves that simply didn’t work out. Both signings were good risks to take. I’m just glad they both flopped in the AL East. That last part really shouldn’t have surprised anyone, by the way…

    5. Corey
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:54 am

      @ MJ:
      i dunno during the offseason I truly thought Smoltz could have been good in the east. Perhaps a few years ago.

    6. Corey
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:55 am

      btw. i dig the post title. kudos!

    7. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 10:03 am

      @ Corey:
      I thought Smoltz had a better chance than Penny, to be sure, but I really didn’t have high hopes for either. It’s not easy to (1) come back from injury, (2) become a starter in the AL East after nearly 20 years in the NL, (3) or pitch in a hitter-friendly home ballpark, but to have to do all 3 at an advancing age…that’s a tall task.

      PS – Thanks!

    8. Corey
      August 27th, 2009 | 10:14 am

      @ MJ:
      your right…I suppose after seeing many vet’s battling age and coming back from surgery successfully in the past decade+, I guess I assumed Smoltz, who is one of the all time greats, could do the same. Didn’t factor in the chemical and hormonal differences between the vet’s of yesterday and vet’s of today tho ;) I guess I still have to get used to that.

    9. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 10:20 am

      @ Corey:
      LOL – I hadn’t even thought of “that”!

    10. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 27th, 2009 | 3:55 pm

      Well, I for one would rather watch Tazawa with his mix of pitches than Penny and his curveball that misses the plate and fastball that finds too much of it.

      Furthermore, I don’t think its remotely accurate to say that Dice-K would be a pitcher no better or worse than Penny. He had a sub-3.00 ERA in the AL East last season. He came in out of shape and having thrown too many competitive pitches too early in the WBC. If you saw the video of his initial rehab start, he’s clearly fit – even thinner in the face now. I was hoping this season would find Dice-K figuring out how to be effective and efficient, but I’ll take the 2008 Dice-K for most of September and hopefully October. They certainly have the arms in the bullpen to handle that kind of Dice-K. And there is no possible way that a healthy Matsuzaka pitches to a 6 ERA.

      Unless that is you are wearing pinstripe glasses.

    11. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 4:02 pm

      OnceIWasAYankeeFan wrote:

      Furthermore, I don’t think its remotely accurate to say that Dice-K would be a pitcher no better or worse than Penny. He had a sub-3.00 ERA in the AL East last season.

      Nonsense. Don’t talk to me about “pinstripe glasses” when EVERYONE knows that Dice-K was one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball last year and that his sub-3.00 ERA in the AL East was a mirage. His FIP was 4.03, had a .263 BABIP and averaged 5.05 BB/9. Give me a break already with your Boston baked bullshit.

    12. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 4:07 pm

      To follow my earlier point, a very nice write-up of Matsuzaka’s 2008 season:

      http://tinyurl.com/mt7lq2

      Let’s not live in make-believe land that Dice-K was anything more than spectacularly lucky last year. What he can do in the remainder of ’09 is anyone’s guess but ’08 certainly should be looked at a bit more critically.

    13. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 27th, 2009 | 5:19 pm

      It takes a helluva lot more than spectacular luck to lead the league in fewest hits allowed per 9 IP. Or to average barely over half a home run per 9 IP (pitching half your games in an offensive-biased park) or to strikeout nearly a batter an inning.

      And this is over 29 starts. Nothing but luck? Yeah, that’s it. Nothing but luck.

    14. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 6:19 pm

      You’re too funny, OIWAYF :-)

    15. butchie22
      August 27th, 2009 | 7:40 pm

      I always thought that Smoltz’s value would have been maximized in a bullpen position. As much as I respect Theo and Co, that was a stupid move with Smoltz. He played in the NL his whole career and he was coming to AL East for chrissakes. I expected for Penny to be an OK Number 5 in the AL East. I never saw him as some kind of messiah. He was someone who gave them some depth if anything.

      On Dicey-K, he did well last year BUT he makes you nervous in the way he lets so many people on base. Yes, it was more than luck that he won that many games . BUT let’s not whitewash that fact. Yes, I call him Dicey-K because there is something dicey about the way he pitches BUT he did a decent job last year.Unfortunately in the wake of Dicey-K slagging the Boston mangement, who knows how he’ll do for the rest of the season.

    16. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 27th, 2009 | 7:55 pm

      Smoltz declared he was a starter every single day until right before he was activated. Given a chance to accept a minor league assignment to go to the bullpen, he said forget it.

      And I am not referring to Dice-K’s winning percentage as evidence that it wasn’t all luck. Luck definitely plays a part when you win that many while pitching so few innings due to your inefficiency. His hits allowed, strikeout rate, HR rate show some actual skill at pitching, even as his nibbling led to too many walks and baserunners. When he put runners on he made quality pitches, that’s why his ERA stayed low and his BAA was so low.

    17. August 27th, 2009 | 8:06 pm

      OnceIWasAYankeeFan wrote:

      It takes a helluva lot more than spectacular luck to lead the league in fewest hits allowed per 9 IP. Or to average barely over half a home run per 9 IP (pitching half your games in an offensive-biased park) or to strikeout nearly a batter an inning.

      And this is over 29 starts. Nothing but luck? Yeah, that’s it. Nothing but luck.

      Man, I thought red-tinted sunglasses were terrible for the eyes…

    18. Evan3457
      August 27th, 2009 | 8:09 pm

      Sorry, once, but Dice-K’s BABIP last season was .267, and that’s a significant bit of luck.

      Of course, in addition to pitching horribly, he’s been preposterous unlucky this season so far, with a BABIP of .441 (VSSS, of course).

      His BABIP in 2007 was .306, which is about normal, and (what a coincidence) his ERA of 4.40 is pretty darn right on his FIP of 4.23.

      Where’s the truth of all these extremes? Where it usually is; somewhere in the middle. Dice-K is a solid major league starter, but not 18-3, 2.90 solid. On the Red Sox, his overall carreer WPCT looks right, and the career ERA seems about right to me as well. (Career BABIP: .305, Career ERA: 4.11, Career FIP: 4.28)

      Divide it by 2.2, and you get 15-9, ERA 4.20 or so. Seems fair to me.

    19. Evan3457
      August 27th, 2009 | 8:10 pm

      Assuming he’s healthy, of course.

    20. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 27th, 2009 | 9:49 pm

      OK – let’s say you’re right (and I’m not going to argue strenuously against it) – are those equivalent to Brad Penny? MJ said that whoever is in that fifth spot they are no better or worse than Penny. I believe that’s totally wrong.

      I submit that its obvious that if Dice-K is ready to go around September 8, having rehabbed his shoulder to full strength and honed his pitches, and pitching to his career averages as you describe them (a career spent in the AL East, to boot) he is obviously a big improvement over Brad Penny.

    21. MJ
      August 27th, 2009 | 11:08 pm

      OnceIWasAYankeeFan wrote:

      K – let’s say you’re right (and I’m not going to argue strenuously against it) – are those equivalent to Brad Penny? MJ said that whoever is in that fifth spot they are no better or worse than Penny. I believe that’s totally wrong

      You agree that an ERA of 4.20 is about what Dice-K is as a pitcher? Brad Penny’s 2009 FIP for the Red Sox was 4.48. Pretty close, huh?

      http://tinyurl.com/l99nol

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