The Cardinals big free agent pickup on the pitching side of the roster this recently completed off-season was Brad Penny.
Slowed by injuries the last two or three seasons and bounced around from the Dodgers to the Red Sox to the Giants before signing a one-year pact with the Cardinals for a guaranteed $7.5 million, Penny told FSN Midwest that he is as healthy and ready to pitch as he has been in years.
Limited to 94 2/3 innings in 2008 by injury, Penny said he was strong last season when he started with Boston, but it took him time to regain his control and command.
"I was just a little inconsistent in Boston," Penny told FSN. "I had a little trouble locating my off-speed (pitches) as well as I can. I missed a whole year and it was sort of like playing with a new toy. I had my old velocity back. I had the power stuff that i didn't have the previous year. It was a little different. I had to try to harness it a little more. I was a little over eager to throw hard again."
Penny also talked about how he has always wanted to play for the Cardinals, his favorite team when he was growing up in Oklahoma, and how his idol was Ozzie Smith. He said his father used to bring him to games at Busch Stadium II and that it was a big thrill for him to get to wear the St. Louis uniform.
Having a chance to pitch in the post season was also a priority for Penny that helped him decide to play for the Redbirds. He said he thinks the offense is going to score a lot of runs, which makes the job easier for pitchers.