Brad Penny gelled immediately with pitching coach Dave Duncan this year in St. Louis and posted a solid 3.23 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in his first nine starts for the Cardinals, but he went down with a lat injury in late May and never resurfaced due to injury setbacks.
He’s back in the news now, but not for baseball reasons. According to People Magazine, Penny got engaged recently to longtime girlfriend Karina Smirnoff, one of the more popular professional dancers on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.
Penny will be a free agent this winter and will probably be seeking an incentive-laden one-year deal like the $7.5 million one that he scored last offseason from St. Louis. The big right-hander has always been an effective starter when healthy and owns a career 4.11 ERA and 6.27 K/9.
He should be able to find a decent contract in a free agent market that is thin on quality starting pitchers.
Smirnoff, pictured on the right playing catch with Penny, danced this season with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from MTV’s Jersey Shore.