Tag:Wily Mo Pena
Posted on: July 2, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Diamondbacks won't play Pena in outfield

By Evan Brunell

PenaWhen the Diamondbacks reached down to Triple-A to acquire a left-handed bat in Sean Burroughs, it meant the end of Melvin Mora's tenure in Arizona.

Mora was brought in to be an important part of the team at third base, but now ends his Arizona tenure with a forgettable .228/.244/.276 line in 42 games and 135 plate appearances. The only wonder is how long it took for the club to move on.

"We chose to keep Wily Mo," GM Kevin Towers said about why Mora was jettisoned, the Arizona Republic reports.

Of course. Pena, who was recalled to serve as the team's DH in interleague play, bashed his fourth home run in 10 games. While Pena is having trouble getting hits or drawing a walk as evidenced by his .233 average and zero walks in 30 plate appearances, the dude can hit the ball far.

However, Pena will be a man without a position when interleague play ends this weekend. While Pena has been taking fly balls in left and has extensive outfield experience, he is an awful defender and manager Kirk Gibson just isn't ready to deploy Pena onto the field.

That will leave Pena as a glorified pinch-hitter, who will have to deliver if he hopes to stick with the team once infielder Geoff Blum comes off the disabled list, which won't be until after the All-Star break.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:25 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:12 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Marquis wins in manager's last game

Riggleman

By Evan Brunell


3 upChris Carpenter, Cardinals -- Chris Carpenter hasn't been able to figure out how to win a game all season. Who knew the solution was to take Albert Pujols out of the lineup? Carp dropped the Phillies by a score of 2-2, rolling for seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits, walking one and striking out seven. It's just his second win of the season, taking his record up to 2-7. We'll revisit this game again in a minute.

Jason Marquis, Nationals -- Marquis now has the honor of being the starting pitcher of record on the day Jim Riggleman seemingly killed his career (more on this in a bit). Kind of funny, given Riggleman and Marquis had a public spat a few weeks ago. The righty was dazzling, limiting the Mariners to just three hits and three walks while punching out four and lowering his ERA to 3.54. It's an impressive bounceback season for someone many left for dead last season.

Tim Lincecum, Giants -- Yeah, it was the night of the pitcher, apparently. There were several other strong pitching performances on the five-game night, but Lincecum grabs the final spot with a dazzling performance that sent Minnesota to its second-straight loss. He threw gas for seven innings, whiffing 13 and giving up zero runs, limiting the Twinkies to just five baserunners on three hits and two walks. San Francisco ended up winning the game 2-1.



3 DownWily Mo Pena, Diamondbacks -- The more things change... Pena, who was recalled by Arizona to serve as the team's DH, blasted a home run in his first game. His second game was an 0-for-3 outing, and now his third game has a 1-for-4 performance, but no home run and... wait for it... three strikeouts. Yep, that's Wily Mo, who laid waste to Triple-A but seems right back to his old habits in the bigs. Still, what he did in Triple-A deserves more rope. He'll have to start hitting more if he hopes to stay with the club when Arizona ends interleague play.

Danys Baez, Phillies -- Roy Oswalt didn't do himself any favors by allowing four runs in two innings. Kyle Kendrick was able to stave off the bleeding with a two-run, four-inning effort, then Juan Perez got through a scoreless outing. At this time, the score was 6-1 and Philly at least had some home for a comeback. Not when Baez was finished, giving up six runs on four hits and two walks and just one K. But hey, this is Danys Baez, after all.

Jim Riggleman, Nationals -- By now, you probably know the story. Riggleman abruptly resigned as manager on Thursday as he was unhappy with his contract. On one hand, his actions were understandable. He did not feel wanted, felt shut out and was doing a fine job in this, his lame-duck last season. But the backlash has been rather severe, and Riggleman probably will get frozen out of any job of significance from hereon out, ala Mike Hargrove when he tendered his own resignation, saying he was just fatigued by baseball. (Riggleman actually ended up replacing John McLaren the next season; McLaren replaced Hargrove in Seattle and is replacing Riggleman for the weekend series coming up.)

Hargrove went on to manage a semipro team and is a special advisor to the Indians. It seems Riggleman will be lucky to get such a cushy gig, but things will probably blow over given time. But even if Riggleman was upset over his contract status, he should have had the foresight to manage the rest of the season, then either extract some serious security from the Nationals or walk away. And if he walked away, he wouldn't have had any issues finding a coaching job, and probably coud have interviewed for some manager's gig. But all that's probably gone now. It's a shame, as Riggleman is a good guy by all accounts. You wish he could have found a way to stick it out. To his credit, though, Riggleman seems to know exactly what type of repercussions his actions will have and was at peace with it. That's all you can really ask for.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 2:40 pm
 

D-Backs call up Pena

Wily Mo Pena

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Welcome back, Wily Mo Pena.

The Diamondbacks have called up the outfielder to serve as a designated hitter in Kansas City tonight, Jack Magruder of FoxSportsArizona.com tweets.

Pena last played in the big leagues in 2008 with the Nationals, and he has 77 career home runs in 560 total games, hitting 26 for the Reds in 2004.

Pena has shown improved … well, everything, absolutely destroying Pacific Coast League pitching to the tune of .363/.439/.726 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI in 63 games this season. 

A career .253/.307/.447 hitter with the Reds, Red Sox and Nationals, Pena started last season at Bridgeport of the independent Atlantic League only to be signed by San Diego, where he hit well in 40 games at Triple-A.

Pena was the key to 2001 Yankees-Reds trade that sent Drew Henson to New York. After hitting 51 homers for the Reds in four seasons (and even having his own bobblehead), Pena was traded to Boston for Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo has won 76 games and made 184 starts for the Reds since the trade, while Pena lasted just 73 games in Boston in 2007 before being traded to Washington (and then-GM Jim Bowden, who brought him to Cincinnati) for a player to be named. The Nationals released him at the end of spring training in 2009. He spent that season in the Mets' system before being released.

Pena is still just 29 and known for his prodigious power, but little else.

The Diamondbacks outrighted infielder Sean Burroughs to Triple-A Reno on Sunday.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Wily Mo Pena still has plenty of power

By Matt Snyder

Remember Wily Mo Pena? He hit 77 home runs from 2002-2008 in the majors, including 26 for the Reds in 2004 -- in only 336 at-bats, mind you -- as a 22 year old. He's only 29 now and is playing for Triple-A Reno, a Diamondbacks affiliate. And he still has every bit of that prodigious power.

Wednesday night, he absolutely obliterated a pitch deep into the Reno night. It cleared everything, including a large advertising board in left-center field, and it appeared to go over a building.

Watch the video on MILB.com

The homer was Pena's 21st of the season, in his 59th game. He's hitting .356 with a 1.170 OPS and also has 62 RBI, 48 runs, 16 doubles and three triples. Someone's got to give him another shot in the majors, right? If not the D-Backs this season, someone else. He's not even 30, and he's just destroying Triple-A. Sure, it's the hitter-friendly PCL, but that kind of power doesn't need thin air to leave the yard.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 21, 2011 8:37 pm
 

A look at the best Triple-A performers

Willis

We're approaching the time in baseball where it's time to pay attention to Triple-A performances, as they will start impacting decisions on promotions and demotions.

In fact, it's already started as Jerry Sands was promoted to be the Dodgers' new left fielder after bashing five home runs in 10 games for Triple-A. Here's a look at some of the hottest performers down one rung of the ladder.

HITTERS

Anthony Rizzo, Padres -- Rizzo is hitting a ludicrous .436/.483/.764 in 60 plate appearances, bashing four home runs as a 21-year-old. Rizzo was supposed to be a legitimate prospect, but it appears as if he may have taken a major step forward this year to make Padres fans quickly forget about losing Adrian Gonzalez. With Brad Hawpe flailing, the Padres may want to call up Rizzo as soon as the calendar flips to June and it becomes unlikely he can qualify for arbitration as a Super Two player. At the very least, Rizzo's all but locked up making his big-league debut at some point this season.

Scott Sizemore, Tigers -- As the Tigers scuffle to find a solution at second base, the answer is staring at them in Toledo. Sizemore, who was supposed to become Detroit's second baseman last season before a broken leg dashed his hopes, is off to a .389/.463/.556 start in 41 PA. The Tigers will be forced to make a move at some point as they're already moving away from Wil Rhymes to Ryan Raburn. Raburn's shifting over from left to get Brennan Boesch's hot bat in the lineup, so Detroit will delay any decision a little while longer.

Wily Mo Pena, Diamondbacks -- A nice comeback story, as Pena famously cranked 26 home runs for the Reds back in 2004 as a 22-year-old, was traded to Boston with a heap of expectations, bombed spectacularly and eventually found himself in the independent leagues. The Padres gave him a flier last season in Triple-A after his indy stint, which went so well he got an offer from the Diamondbacks where currently leads the PCL in home runs with six and is just one behind the leader for overall Triple-A superiority. The 29-year-old needs to keep it up a bit longer and show he can actually hit a breaking pitch this time around, but if he keeps up this production, Arizona will find room for him in a hurry.

PITCHERS

Julio Teheran, Braves -- Teheran can't even drink yet, but he's baffling Triple-A hitters by posting a 1.69 ERA over 16 innings. His strikeout numbers are way down as his 11/6 K/BB rate suggests, but that will eventually rise. Considered one of, if not the, best pitching prospect in the game, Atlanta is ridiculously deep so it's possible they hold him back the entire year especially given his age, but this much is certain thus far in Teheran's career: you can't count him out, and he will eventually hold the top spot in the Braves' rotation.

Dontrelle Willis, Reds (pictured) --  Willis couldn't make the Reds out of spring training as a left-handed reliever, so he headed to the farm to function as a starter. And he's doing quite well, twirling 17 innings of one-run ball and punching out 15 while walking five. Let's not hop back on the D-Train just yet, but it's fantastic to see a good guy who fell on hard times start to figure things out again. The Reds rotation figures to undergo quite a few changes as the year progresses, so Willis could figure into the situation by year's end.

Brad Mills, Blue Jays -- Toronto has jettisoned Jesse Litsch and Brett Cecil from the rotation in the last few days, so Mills may be the first on this list to get the call to the majors. The 26-year-old has a career 7.80 ERA in the majors over 30 innings but seems to have figured things out this year. He has a sparkling 0.82 ERA in three starts. While his strikeout rate of 7.0 batters per nine is lower than his minor-league career mark of 8.6, his BB/9 is down from a career line of 3.3 to 2.0. Yeah, that'd do it. If Toronto doesn't shift reliever Marc Rzepczynski back to the rotation to fill the void, bet on Mills getting the call.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Imagining an MLB Combine

Michael Bourn

While our Eye on Football brethren are in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine not getting to watch guys run and jump, it got me to thinking how much fun an MLB Combine might be.

Among the drills the NFL draft hopefuls do that would be applicable to baseball are the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical leap and the Wonderlic Test. So who would be the best baseball players to participate? That's where the fun begins.

40-yard dash: Maybe for baseball, it'd be more fun to line the guys up and have them go 90 feet.

Favorite: Michael Bourn, Astros. A Sports Illustrated poll of players during spring training had Crawford picked as the fastest player in the majors, but the less-heralded Bourn finished second. Bourn has won two straight Gold Gloves in center, and much of it is because he can seemingly cover the entire outfield. In a division blessed with fast center fielders (Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs), Bourn covers more ground than anyone. Oh, and he's led the National League in stolen bases each of the last two seasons.

Others: Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, Luis Durango, Juan Pierre, Jose Reyes, Andrew McCutchen, Chone Figgins, Ichiro Suzuki, Emilio Bonifacio, Carlos Gomez, Carl Crawford

Adam DunnBench press: At the combine, players bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible, testing not only strength, but endurance. For baseball, maybe the best test would be a home-run derby-like format, but adding the distances of balls hit.

Favorite: Adam Dunn, White Sox. According to HitTrackerOnline.com, Jose Bautista had more "no-doubt" home runs than Dunn (19 to 16), but Dunn's homers averaged nearly 10 feet more, with an average "true distance" of 411.1 feet. Mark Reynolds' 32 homers averaged 415.6 feet, so he's certainly in the discussion. Dunn's been consistently hitting long home runs, so he gets the nod.

Others: Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mark Reynolds, Wily Mo Pena, Mike Stanton, Travis Hafner, Russell Branyan, Jose Bautista

Dexter FowlerVertical leap: While it's not something that you associate with baseball, it's a good test of athleticism, but is also practical at the wall as players just to rob home runs.

Favorite: Dexter Fowler, Rockies. At 6-foot-5, Fowler was recruited as a basketball player in high school, but he showed his leaping ability in an unusual place in the 2009 NLDS. In the eighth inning of Game 4, Fowler was on first when Todd Helton hit a grounder to Chase Utley. Fowler was running toward Utley and hurdled him. Utley then threw errantly to Jimmy Rollins and Fowler was safe. (You can see the play here.)

Others: Carl Crawford, Torii Hunter, Shane Victorino, Mike Cameron, Hunter Pence

Craig BreslowWonderlic test: A 12-minute, 50-question test used for testing applicants for learning and problem-solving. Harvard's Pat McInally is the only confirmed 50 score at the combine, while another Harvard alum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, scored either a 48 or 49 in nine minutes. So, it makes sense to look to the Ivy League for our baseball picks.

Favorite: Craig Breslow, Athletics. Breslow graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Seriously. The Sporting News called him the smartest player in sports, while the Wall Street Journal suggested he may be the smartest man in the world. Not only that, batters hit just .194/.272/.348 against him last season, with lefties hitting .181/.245/.340 against him.

Others: Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Young, Fernando Perez, Mark DeRosa

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Morning Pepper: Castillo finally reports to Mets

Castillo

OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT: Over the last few days, the Mets (especially skipper Terry Collins) have made no secret of their displeasure that Luis Castillo had yet to show up to spring training yet despite position players not being required to report until Saturday. Collins said he would have hoped Castillo would have showed up early to show a commitment to the team and to winning the second-base job. The media jumped on the story, also excoriating Castillo. With a $6 million salary in the final year of a contract that has been a headache for New York, the former Marlin is a prime candidate to be released at the end of spring training along with Oliver Perez.

One problem: Castillo was dealing with a medical issue in the family, as his 50-year-old brother is set to have "serious" surgery Monday, and quite understandably was spending time with his brother and dealing with the issues, much like a smattering of other ballplayers were late to camp due to visa complications, medical issues, births in the family and the like.

"I know my situation here, and I try to be practice baseball," Castillo said to ESPN New York upon arrival after speaking to Collins. "That's not easy, because my brother is my family.

To be fair to Collins, Castillo made no mention of this issue in a mid-week phone conversation and one would think it smart to mention it. That said, this is egg on the face for the new-era Mets they simply did not need. (ESPN New York)

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Kevin Millwood isn't interested in a minor-league deal, turning down an offer from the Yankees on a contract similar to Freddy Garcia. (New York Post)

WELCOME TO TAMPA, HERE'S A BOBBLEHEAD: Need more proof that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez are being looked at to take up the slack on the Rays? The team will hand out a ManRam bobblehead May 29 against the Indians. Damon's turn comes July 17 against Boston. (St. Petersburg Times)

HERE'S SOME TYLENOL: Concussions are taking center stage in the NFL, but baseball has its own problems. The good news? In recent years, baseball has been paying attention to the problem and concussion-related DL injuries are on the rise. Now, Jeff Zimmerman takes a look at what we know so far. The takeaway? Even 60 days after the concussion is drastically worse than the player's production leading up to the injury. (Fangraphs)

THE RED LIGHT COMES ON: Carl Crawford has a lot to live up to in his first season in Boston with a $142-million contract in hand. How will Crawford adjust to the increased pressure and media coverage? Just fine, it appears. (Boston Globe)

STAND ASIDE, Miguel Batista: There's a new author in town as R.A. Dickey plans to publish a book in the coming year that will display the "intertwining paths of his personal and professional lives, with stories and anecdotes from his childhood and through the approaching season." Dickey mentions he will be honest about certain affairs that may not please people, but will not throw anyone under the bus. Dickey is one of the more literate ballplayers in the game and is penning the book largely himself, so it will be interesting to see how the book turns out. (New York Times)

YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOOOOAAARRRD... YES!: Wily Mo Pena put on a power display, with second baseman Kelly Johnson saying Pena hit eight home runs for every nine swings. Pena's known for his power and BP is a great way to showcase it, but how about hitting a curveball instead? (Arizona Republic)

LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: As baseball readies for Opening Day, Andrew Simon takes a... unique look at what fans of each team have to look forward to. Hey, K.C. fans: "The additions of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur should help offset the loss of Yuniesky Betancourt." (ThePostGame.com)

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 4:21 pm
 

D-Backs to sign super sub Bloomquist

Willie Bloomquist
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports via Twitter that the Diamondbacks have agreed on a $1.05 million deal with utility man Willie Bloomquist or 2011 with a mutual option for 2012.

Bloomquist, 33, was traded from the Royals to the Reds in September and put up a combined 2010 line of .267/.299/.380. He's the ultimate utility player, having played every position on the field other than pitcher and catcher each of the past three years. He's not a big hitter (just 13 career homers in more than 2,000 plate appearances), but is a versatile defender and a speedy pinch-runner.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic notes that Arizona's bench is now likely to include catcher Henry Blanco, outfielder Gerardo Parra and primary infielders Bloomquist and Geoff Blum, with the final spot coming down to a battle between Tony Abreu, Cole Gillespie, Ryan Roberts, Brandon Allen, Wily Mo Pena and Collin Cowgill.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com