The Tigers barely made a ripple in the Detroit news scene today when they signed RHP Brad Penny to an incentive-laden one year contract worth $3 million. Penny will look to overcome a shoulder injury and the dreaded Alyssa Milano curse to help put the Tigers over the top in the AL Central next season. Thankfully, he’s already improving the Tigers’ high-to-low sock ratio, a crucial stat for any baseball fan.
Hopefully Penny can replicate his Dodger years where he went 46-33 from 2004 to 2008, including consecutive All-Star appearances* in 2006 and ’07 (His ’06 ASG was the “I’m a man, I’m 40!” first inning, where he struck out Ichiro, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz with just his fastball). He’s only 14-13 since then, including some less-than-stellar trends during his 2009 stint in Boston. He started to develop a split-finger last season, a pitch he will definitely need to survive in the AL.
Will he revert to the “hit it if you can” form he had in ’06? Will he continue his ’09 tour-de-suck? Will he even make the rotation? Who knows. But we’re only 5 weeks away from answering those questions, and I couldn’t be more excited.