Results tagged ‘ Brad Penny ’
The first official workout for Tigers pitchers and catchers isn’t until
Monday, but it was hard to tell from the procession of pitchers throwing
off the back mounds at Tigertown Friday morning. Most os f the pitchers
in camp are already here. That now includes Brad Penny, who stepped off
his red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Orlando and went straight to
Lakeland for his first workout in Tigers gear.
“Couldn’t wait to get here,” Penny said Friday morning.
Considering he hasn’t pitched in a game since last May, he’s had it with
waiting. The oblique injury that ended his season early is now a thing
of the past, but the time off might pay off dividends this year. Because
he had so much time this offseason, he more this winter than usual. In
past years, he said, he’d throw one bullpen session before reporting to
camp. He has several under his belt now, though Friday wasn’t his day to throw. He worked out with the pitchers and hit the weight room.
Penny won’t need long to feel at home. He received the Spring Training
locker at the start of the pitching corridor, previously occupied by
Todd Jones and Jeremy Bonderman. Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, Jose Valverde,
Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander are down the line.
For those who were wondering, Penny will wear number 31, Zach Miner’s old digits.
The Cubs are on the verge of sending Tom Gorzelanny to Washington for
prospects. Joe Blanton no longer looks like a sure bet to be traded out
of Philadelphia. The quality of the remaining free-agent market drops
precipitously after Carl Pavano.
What’s a team looking for starting pitching left to do?
Could they go for Armando Galarraga?
That’s what Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski is counting
on. He’s strong enough about it that he thinks he stands a better
chance of trading Galarraga now than Spring Training. Otherwise, he
probably wouldn’t have designated him for assignment Tuesday to make
room for Brad Penny.
Instead of waiting until March, the Tigers have 10 days to try to deal Galarraga.
“I’m confident,” Dombrowski said Tuesday when asked about his chances of
finding a trade partner for his former fifth starter. “You never know
until you get it done. We’ve had enough clubs express some interest.
It’s not like I have a for-sure deal, but I do have enough clubs that
have asked me about him.”
By no means is Galarraga an answer for teams looking for a front-line
starter. For teams needing a fifth starter who has been through a few
seasons, though, Galarraga is an option. That list could be longer than
expected, now that waiting for the Tigers to release Galarraga in Spring
Training is no longer an option.
The Tigers’ return for Galarraga might be only marginally better than
what they received last spring for Nate Robertson. Galarraga doesn’t
have an untradeable contract, or a significant injury history, but he’s
coming off an up-and-down season and a stretch.
Considering Galarraga’s issues with attacking the strike zone last
summer, he’s the type of pitcher who might benefit from a pitching coach
who views him as a bit of a project to restore his confidence.
The Tigers could still end up bringing Galarraga to camp if no team
claims him on waiver. He could then be outrighted to Triple-A Toledo and
brought to Spring Training as a non-roster invite. But with the Tigers
rotation clearly set, and prospects Andy Oliver, Charlie Furbush and
Jacob Turner also likely to get stretched out in terms of innings, the
Tigers could have a problem finding the innings to showcase Galarraga
The Tigers helped get Freddy Garcia back on the mound a few years ago after shoulder surgery, then watched him help thwart their division hopes with the White Sox the following season. Now that Garcia is a free agent again and the Tigers need some starting competition, would a reunion in Detroit be possible, or has he burned his bridges here?
It’s possible, though unlikely at this point. Tigers officials at least pondered the idea this offseason, and Garcia is believed to be open to it. But all indications point towards Brad Penny and Jeremy Bonderman getting more consideration from the Tigers right now as they look for a veteran starter to push Armando Galarraga for the fifth starter spot.
On the list of back-end starting options, the Tigers certainly could do worse.
Garcia went 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in three starts down the stretch for Detroit in 2008 after missing more than a year rehabbing from labrum surgery. More shoulder trouble in winter ball helped keep the Tigers off him that offseason. He rejoined the White Sox, where he helped win a World Series in 2005, and went 15-10 in Chicago over the last two seasons, but with a 4.56 ERA and 27 home runs allowed over 213 combined innings.
Garcia throws with even less velocity now than he had a few years ago, but he gets more results out of less pure stuff than a lot of pitchers in his situation. As one scout put it, he pitches like he can throw 95 mph. He also has as much experience with AL Central hitters as anyone on the market — 36 plate appearances against Justin Morneau (6-for-29), 35 PAs versus Joe Mauer (13-for-31), 36 with Travis Hafner (15-for-33) and 34 against Jim Thome (5-for-23).
There’s also the 18-7 record he sports against the Tigers, including 2-1 with a 4.39 ERA in five meetings with Detroit last year. His seven innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts at Detroit on the final Saturday of the 2009 season was a major blow in the Tigers’ division collapse, dropping them into a tie with the Twins.