Brad Penny is back in the big leagues.
The 34-year-old was called up by the Giants before Friday's game against the Reds, and he'll be used out of the bullpen for the time being, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy told reporters.
The Giants put Shane Loux on the disabled list with a neck strain and moved left-hander Eric Surkamp to the 60-day disabled list.
Penny started the season in Japan but asked to be released by the Softbank Hawks after just one start. Penny was 11-11 with a 5.30 ERA in 31 starts for the Tigers last season. He's 119-99 with a 4.23 ERA in parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues. He finished the 2009 season with the Giants, going 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in six starts. He was an All-Star in 2006 and 2007 for the Dodgers.
Penny has just four relief appearances in his career. He appeared in seven games for Triple-A Fresno, allowing eight runs (five earned) on nine hits in 8 1/3 innings. He was roughed up in his first outing -- allowing five runs (three earned) -- but has allowed earned runs in just two appearances. He's gone two innings in each of his last two outings, giving up an unearned run on June 24. He allowed two hits and a walk in two scoreless innings on Wednesday.
Penny said he's not expecting to start at all, but Bochy said he'll remain open-minded.
As for Penny's short Japanese stint, he said the team asked him to throw 120 pitches per start, something he wasn't comfortable doing. He also said he had trouble with the language barrier.
"I didn't know what to expect," Penny told the San Jose Mercury News. "I figured I could do anything for a couple of years, but that wasn't true. I wasn't having any fun playing baseball."