SAN FRANCISCO -- About a month into his new Major League role and having appeared in eight games, longtime starter Brad Penny continues to adjust to pitching out of the bullpen.
Before this season, Penny had started 315 career games in the Majors and had appeared in relief just four times since he debuted in 2000.
"I'm feeling better," Penny said. "At first I didn't feel that great. I'm so used to that five-game routine. It's an adjustment, but people have been helping me out, and I'm getting better at it. I had one good game where I felt great, but other than that I've been feeling OK. The last four or five games I've been feeling great. It might have just been getting over the hump."
Penny has given up five earned runs in 11 1/3 innings since joining the team June 29 from Triple-A Fresno. The two-time All-Star signed with the team May 18 after a brief stint in Japan and has been transitioning to being a full-time reliever since.
"I've been trying to talk to everyone about it because as a starting pitcher you've got to pace yourself. It's a whole different thing," Penny said. "Right now, I'm still trying to spot up and get pitches early. You have a different approach coming out of the bullpen. I find that I need to be more aggressive, focus more and make a better pitch the first or second pitch in the at-bat as opposed to just trying to get ahead of him."
When he was brought up to the Giants at the end of June, manager Bruce Bochy said he envisioned Penny as being a possible long reliever and spot starter. Penny has pitched two or more innings in three of his eight appearances.
"Penny is doing fine," Bochy said. "The more and more time he has over there, I think he's adjusting to getting up and getting down and bouncing back."