Brad Penny was shut down last week after suffering a setback in his return from a shoulder injury and general manager John Mozeliak said yesterday that there’s no longer a timetable for the right-hander coming off the disabled list:
I would say that he will pitch again this season, but eight weeks wrong today, it doesn’t serve me well to try and guess again.
Penny initially looked like the latest addition to pitching coach Dave Duncan’s list of scrap-heap success stories, going 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA through four starts after signing a one-year, $7.5 million deal this offseason. However, he went 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in his next five starts and hasn’t pitched since an ugly outing against the Angels on May 21.
His uncertain status could put the Cardinals in the market for another veteran starting pitcher before the trade deadline.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been granted a work visa and will soon rejoin the Pirates. Kang had previously not been allowed to enter the U.S. after he was arrested for his third DUI in Seoul in December 2016.
There was some thought that Kang wouldn’t ever play for the Pirates again, but things have worked out in his favor. It will still likely be a while until he actually appears in a major league game, as he will need to get back into game shape and up to game speed.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly said, “After a lengthy process, we are pleased that Jung Ho has been allowed to re-enter the United States. We are encouraged by the steps that Jung Ho has taken to date and are hopeful that having the games he loves taken away from him for more than a year has driven home the reality that he must make better life decisions as we move forward together.
As we have communicated to him throughout this process, we will work to provide Jung Ho with the resources and support necessary for him to meet the high expectations that we have for him as a member of our organization and our community.”
The Pirates signed Kang as an international free agent out of South Korea to a four-year, $11 million contract in January 2015. If he were to appear in the majors this season, he would earn a prorated $3 million. He has a club option for next season worth $5.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.