Cardinals' Brad Penny out at least another month

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penny throwing big.jpgThe Cardinals have finally established a timetable for Brad Penny’s return from a lat strain, and it’s not exactly great news.  According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the veteran starter is expected to miss at least the next four-to-six weeks.

Penny was placed on the 15-day disabled list back in late May after opening the season with an impressive 3.23 ERA, 35/9 K/BB ratio and 1.29 WHIP through his first nine starts in a Cardinals uniform.  P.J. Walters and Adam Ottavino have done well in his absence, but that probably won’t last long.  And it appears that Kyle Lohse could be out all year.

Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and rookie lefty Jaime Garcia have been spectacular through the first two months of the regular season and the Cards have the luxury of playing in one of baseball’s weaker divisions.  But the Reds are right on their tail and now have a healthy Joey Votto.  Things should be interesting for at least the next month in the National League Central.

Rays acquire Wilmer Font from Athletics

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In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.

This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.

Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.