Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bobby Jones Warns: Look Out for Brad Penny

Former major league pitcher Bobby Jones -- now managing for Triple A Oklahoma City -- warns the Giants to look out for Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, who will return to action in San Francisco Friday.

"He looked great to me," Jones told The Daily Oklahoman after Penny faced Jones' Red Hawks recently in a final tuneup before returning to action. "We got some hits off him, but it was a challenge.”

More than 8,000 fans turned out to see the 30-year-old Broken Arrow High School standout return to action with Triple A Las Vegas. By at least one count, Penny threw 67 pitches with 50 going for strikes, some topping out at 97-98 mph. He lost 4-3, but he struck out four in four innings in his first action against live batters since mid June.

"I'm glad I got to let a few go,” said Penny, who understandably was a bit tentative in trying to come back from an inflamed shoulder. "...I've got to work on my split. That was my first time against live hitting, and I hung a few splits and a couple of curve balls. But overall, I thought my curve ball was pretty good.”

Jones could not disagree.

"I thought he threw very well,” Jones said. "He hit his spots. He was throwing his breaking ball for strikes and locking our hitters up."

Las Vegas manager Lorenzo Bundy noted some late inning fatigue.

"He labored a little bit those last couple of innings, but he seems to turn it up a notch when he gets men on base,” Bundy said. "It's been a long time since he faced hitters. Overall, it was a pretty good outing. That's a good hitting ball club over there, so it was a nice test for him.”