The Cardinals’ bullpen struggled early on in the 2011 season but recovered to help St. Louis win the World Series. This provides hope for teams with early-season bullpen issues such as the Angels, as Buster Olney explained at ESPN.com this morning. Here are some more notes from Olney:
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto says the club needs to restore Jordan Walden’s confidence. "We need for Jordan to be good,” he said. “He's going to be an important part of things here."
- The Angels are struggling for many reasons in Dipoto’s view, but the bullpen remains a clear area of concern, especially with recent injuries to Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins. Dipoto acquired Ernesto Frieri from the Padres over the weekend.
- Brad Penny has offers from MLB teams to start or pitch out of the bullpen, Olney reports. Penny, who recently became a free agent, expects to choose a team soon. He had been dealing with shoulder issues while under contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
Teams ogling over Penny and his sore arm? More power to Penny if he can pull a Jason Schmidt caper.
Penny for Olney’s thoughts? Darn insider articles.
Not missing much; usually Olney prefaces his own tweets with “heard this”, probably picked up from other peoples tweets.
The Cardinals had plenty of bullpen talent when the season started last year. TLR insisted on giving the ball to the likes of Ryan Franklin and Trevor Miller in big situations instead of letting the the more talented players do the work. Once John Mozeliak got all of the horrible pieces out of the way, TLR had no choice but to use the younger, better arms out of the pen. That is when the bullpen started to perform.
Who is desperate enough to sign Brad Nickel? Giants? Angels?
Twins. An ERA around 5.00 would be a vast improvement.
I’m not sure the Giants would be interested in recycling a worn out Penny
Has anyone seen Walden’s pitching motion? There’s no way that’s legal.
Why do you feel that way?
The guy is airborne when he throws the ball, it’s like he’s throwing from 55 feet rather than 60. Look it up on Youtube.
I just watched it. There’s nothing wrong with his motion. He comes set, starts his motion and throws. As long as he does it the same way every time then there is not a problem.
It makes me think of Rob Nenn (I believe) who would raise his left leg to start his throwing motion from the stretch, tap the ground with his left foot on the way down, but then move it forward another half foot or so. It would be a balk at any other time, but because he did it the same way every pitch, it was allowed.
No one wanted Penny after he was healthy last year and threw 180 crap innings. Now his shoulder is sore and teams are lining up for him, seems legit.
Mariners can sign Brad Penny to a minor-league contract and sign Vlad Guerrero by trading infielder Chone Figgins and minor league pitcher James Paxton to to a team as San Diego Padres needing help on defense and pitching.
Penny could be a great late-inning reliever. His style of pitching gets to be fairly predictable if he’s thrown out there for few innings.
I take it you mean fastballs with no movement? And now that he’s older, slower fastballs?