The San Francisco Giants purchased Brad Penny's contract from Class AAA Fresno before Friday's game against the Cincinnati Reds and placed right-hander Shane Loux on the disabled list with a strained neck, MLB.com reported.
Penny joins the Giants' bullpen after making seven relief appearances for Fresno. He allowed five earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. He had only allowed one run in his last five innings, including a scoreless two innings Wednesday.
Penny is a two-time All Star and longtime starter.
"It's definitely going to be different and it's going to be something I'm going to have to learn as I go along, but I'm looking forward to it," Penny said of his new role as a relief pitcher.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he envisions Penny mainly being a "long-middle reliever" but might use him in different situations.
Loux injured his neck during pregame workouts Thursday. To make room for Penny on the 40-man roster, reliever Eric Surkamp was transferred to the 60-day DL.
After pitching for the Detroit Tigers last season, Penny signed a one-year, $3 million contract in the winter to play for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. Penny was released May 8 and signed with the Giants shortly thereafter.
Penny finished the 2009 season with the Giants, going 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in six appearances.