Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes will be going back over the Top 100 Marlins of all time, from their inception as the Florida Marlins in 1993 through today's incarnation as the Miami Marlins. I used the WAR metric to order all potential members of the list. Today's Marlin, Bradley Wayne Penny, earned a mark of 7.6 while with the team.
Penny, born on May 24th, 1978 in Blackwell, Oklahoma, was a 6’4”, 270 lb. right-handed pitcher. The Arizona Diamondbacks chose him in the fifth round of the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft with the 155th overall selection. His 19.2 career PER led that round - 13 other players made the majors eventually. The best of them aside from Penny was Joe Crede (14.7). In the middle of the 1999 season, the DBacks traded Penny to the Marlins with Vladimir Nunez and a PTBNL (Abraham Nunez) for Matt Mantei.
In 2000, Penny made his major league debut with the Marlins, and put up an 8-7 record with a 4.81 ERA, a 4.84 FIP, and a 1.504 WHIP. He struck out 80 in 119.2 innings over 22 starts as Miami’s opening day number five starter. He didn’t throw any shutouts that season, or even a complete game, but he did manage the occasional dominant performance. On May 27th, he held the Cincinnati Reds hitless through 5.1 innings, striking out four and allowing two runs (on walks and errors) in an 8-6 loss. His best of the season was probably on September 16th, when he gave up one run on four hits and struck out six Phillies over seven innings of a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia.
Penny started 31 games for the Marlins in 2001, when he opened the season as Florida’s number three starter. He deflated his WHIP all the way down to a team- and NL-sixth leading 1.156, with a 3.69 ERA, a club best 3.39 FIP, and 154 whiffs in 205 innings, going 10-10 in the process.
On April 21st, he limited the Expos to just four hits and posted his first complete game, striking out eighth in a 5-0 victory over Montreal. On May 19th, he threw 7.2 shutout innings, striking out eight and allowing only three hits to the Colorado Rockies, earning a 1-0 victory. June 16th would see him toss seven innings and allow just two baserunners, on an error and a John Flaherty single, also striking out five in an 11-0 win against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. On June 26th, he struck out 13 batters and gave up only one hit in eight innings, defeating the Expos, 3-0. On August 9th, he struck out seven and gave up just one hit through seven innings, earning a no decision in a 3-1 Marlins win over the Diamondbacks. On September 24th, he earned a 1-0 win against the Atlanta Braves by giving up no runs on six hits, striking out five in 7.1 innings.
Penny’s 2002 campaign was remarkably similar in statistics to his rookie season two years prior. He posted an 8-7 record wtih a 4.66 ERA, a 4.52 FIP, a 1.531 WHIP, and struck out 93 in 129.1 innings, over 24 starts as Florida’s number three starter. In his first game of the year, on April 4th, he tossed a complete game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out three in a 1-0 win against Montreal. On August 9th, he struck out 10 and allowed one run on four hits over seven innings, earning a no-decision in a 2-1 loss to Arizona. Five days later, he allowed just two hits and struck out seven over eight innings, defeating the Rockies, 1-0.
In 2003, Penny leveled off again with a stronger season, going 14-10 over 32 starts, with a 4.13 ERA, a 3.92 FIP, a 1.278 WHIP, and 138 K’s in 196.1 innings. Penny shared the team lead at 14 victories with Mark Redman and Dontrelle Willis. Although he didn’t start on opening day, he eventually settled in at that spot, appearing every fifth day starting with the sixth game of the season.
On April 16th, Penny gave up just two hits and struck out eight over seven frames, defeating the Phillies by an eventual 3-1 final. On July 19th, he posted a season-high 79 GameScore, allowing an unearned run on four hits while striking out eight in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs. On August 5th, he struck out five and allowed four hits over seven scoreless innings, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-0. Two starts later, on August 15th, he struck out seven in as many innings, keeping the Padres scoreless on five hits in a 10-0 drubbing of San Diego. He went 3-1 through the postseason, starting in four of his seven appearances and striking out 13 batters in 22 innings, with a 5.73 ERA. Two of his wins came in his final two starts, in Florida’s first and third victories against the New York Yankees in the World Series.
2004 would see Penny start the season for the Marlins with an 8-8 record over 21 starts, with a 3.15 ERA, 105 strikeouts in 131.1 innings, a 3.40 FIP and a 1.241 WHIP. On April 13th he struck out 10 and allowed two hits over eight innings to defeat the Expos, 5-0. On May 5th, he earned a 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers by striking out five and allowing four hits over 7.2 innings. On June 23rd, he allowed four hits and struck out seven in six frames to defeat the Braves, 6-0. At the trading deadline, the Marlins sent him with Hee-Seop Choi and Bill Murphy to the Dodgers for Juan Encarnacion, Paul Lo Duca, and Guillermo Mota.
Penny played five seasons with the Dodgers (118 games, 46-33, 4.07 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 1.361 WHIP, 462 strikeouts in 678.2 innings), then joined the Boston Red Sox (24 starts, 7-8, 5.61 ERA, 4.49 FIP, 1.534 WHIP, 89 K’s in 131.2 innings), the San Francisco Giants (28 games, 4-2, 4.00 ERA, 4.73 FIP, 1.306 WHIP, 30 strikeouts in 69.2 innings), the Cardinals (nine starts, 3-4, 3.23 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 1.293 WHIP, 35 K’s in 55.2 innings), and the Detroit Tigers (31 starts, 11-11, 5.30 ERA, 5.02 FIP, 1.563 WHIP, 74 whiffs in 181.2 innings). He made his last appearance with the Giants near the end of 2012.
After nearly two seasons out of baseball, Penny resurfaced with the Marlins in 2014, and appeared in eight games (four starts) in August and September. He went 2-1 with a 6.58 ERA, a 5.25 FIP, a 1.808 WHIP, and 13 K’s in 26 innings in what would be his last major league action. After a few tryouts with the Chicago White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays and a few Spring Trainings, he announced his retirement on March 18th, 2016.
I’ll be writing up through number 21 in this countdown based on WAR, but YOU, dear readers, will order the top 20 based on popular vote! The list below is self explanatory, but just in case you don’t get it, vote a player up if you think they’re too low, and vote him down if you think he’s too high. There’s just under a week left to pack the ballot, so if you haven’t already, take a moment and check it out. Keep checking back here as we continue the march to Opening Day, right here at Fish Stripes.