|Penny ‘still putting gas in tank’…||03.03.09 at 9:19 am ET|
Fort Myers, Fla. – Brad Penny was scratched on Tuesday morning after he was forced to shut down his Sunday bullpen session after 25 pitches.
“I think the best way I can put it is that he’s still putting gas in the tank,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I don’t consider this a setback at all. There are going to be some hurdles he’s going to have to get over I’m sure, mentally, himself. We want to do this is in a partnership with him.
“He could pitch Thursday. I just don’t know it’s in everybody’s long-term best interests.”
Clay Buchholz was due to relieve Penny on Thursday and now will instead start against Puerto Rico.
“There really aren’t red flags,” Francona said. “I need to make that point. He’s done a helluva job from where he started when he got him. They keep testing him and he get stronger and stronger and stronger. I guess we feel we can make this even get better, that’s kind of the whole point behind it.
“He’s been doing good,” he said. “He’s doing a good job. He’s bought into the program. He comes in with Mikey (Reinold). He’s really done a terrific job. That’s one thing I don’t want get misconstrued.”
Penny didn’t seem overly concerned either speaking to reporters early Tuesday morning in front of his locker.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Penny told reporters in front of his locker Tuesday morning. “I don’t think the shoulder strength was quite where it needed to be yet for the work load I was doing. I had been scheduled out. It’s better to take it easy right now than to get out there in the first week of April and have it flare up on me. I’m just stay on the shoulder program, play catch and try to get my shoulder strength to where I need it to be.”
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