Marlins calling up Brad Penny to start tonight against the Reds

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We heard earlier this week that the Marlins were thinking about calling up 36-year-old Brad Penny to fill the rotation spot of 23-year-old Jacob Turner, who was recently designated for assignment and swapped to the Cubs. The speculation is now confirmed, as the team has announced that Penny will start tonight against the Reds.

Penny signed a minor league contract with the Marlins in June before posting a 3.05 ERA and 30/9 K/BB ratio in 38 1/3 innings across five starts between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in majors since 2012 as a member of the Giants, when he put up an ugly 6.11 ERA over 22 relief appearances. However, the Marlins are hopeful there’s still something left in the tank.

Penny made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2000 and compiled a 48-42 record and a 4.04 ERA before being dealt to the Dodgers almost exactly 10 years ago.

Matt Shepard to be the Tigers new full-time play-by-play guy

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Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.

This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.

Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.

Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.