Pena announced his retirement from professional baseball Monday in a post on his personal Twitter account.
After failing to win a spot on the Tigers' Opening Day roster out of spring training, the 36-year-old backstop was reassigned to the minors, but never saw action with any affiliate. Pena first reached the majors in 2005 and served mostly as a backup over parts of 12 seasons with the Braves, Royals, Tigers, Reds and Cardinals, accruing a .259/.299/.351 slash line and 23 home runs for his career. With his playing days behind him, Pena is slated to transition to the coaching ranks. He'll serve as the skipper for one of the Tigers' rookie-ball squads this summer, according to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press.
Pena was reassigned to minor-league camp Friday.
There was some talk earlier that Pena could make the team as a third catcher, but he will start the year at Triple-A Toledo instead. James McCann will be the starter with John Hicks, Derek Norris and Jarrod Saltalamacchia still competing for the No. 2 job.
Pena or Derek Norris could make the Tigers' Opening Day roster as a third catcher, behind starter James McCann and John Hicks, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.
New Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire often carried three catchers when he managed the Twins, and he's talked about the idea in Detroit. "If you have that luxury, it's really nice," Gardenhire said. "I've had that before. That's a really nice luxury to have. But I don't know if we have that here right now." Pena is a ways away from having an everyday role with the Tigers and didn't appear in the majors in 2017, but he could be an insurance policy in case anything happens to McCann.
Pena signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers on Monday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
Pena, who spent all of last season in the minors after failing to break camp with the Royals, last appeared in the majors in 2016, when he struggled to a .154/.214/.231 line during a brief stint (nine games) with the Cardinals. He should get a chance to compete for the Tigers' backup catching gig in spring training, though he's more likely destined for a role as organizational catching depth in 2018.
Pena was reassigned to minor-league camp on Tuesday, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reports.
He was not believed to be a serious threat to Drew Butera for the backup catcher gig, and indeed Pena will begin the year offering organizational depth at Triple-A.
Pena agreed to a minor-league deal with the Royals on Tuesday, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports.
Pena's deal includes an invite to major league spring training, where he'll presumably compete with Drew Butera for backup catching duties behind primary backstop Salvador Perez. Butera's presence on the 40-man roster confers him an advantage over Pena, but the 35-year-old does at least have familiarity working in his favor after previously spending parts of four seasons in the Royals organization. The switch-hitting Pena appeared in nine games at the big-league level for the Cardinals in 2016, going 2-of-13 at the dish.
Pena was released by the Cardinals on Monday.
He was recently designated for assignment, and the two sides opted to part ways so that Pena could pursue another opportunity. Pena typically straddles the line of being a replacement-level player, and he could get an opportunity with a team in need of catching depth, although he's unlikely to serve in more than a reserve role.
Pena was designated for assignment on Monday.
The Cardinals needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster after signing reliever Brett Cecil to a four-year deal, and Pena was a logical casualty. He is obviously behind Yadier Molina and was recently passed on the organizational depth chart by Carson Kelly. Look for Pena to serve as catching depth at the Triple-A level if he remains in the organization.
Pena (knee) was activated from the 60-day DL on Sunday.
Now presumably healthy, Pena will compete with Alberto Rosario for reps behind the rarely-rested Yadier Molina. Don't expect much offense from the 34-year-old Pena, as the veteran owns a .648 OPS over his last three seasons.
Pena (knee) will begin a rehab assignment at High-A Palm Beach on Friday, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
Pena's season has been filled with injuries, so much so that he's only played in four games. During his limited action, he's managed to go just 1-for-8 at the plate. Upon his activation from the DL, Pena will return to his role as Yadier Molina's backup.
Pena was placed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday with left knee inflammation.
The Cardinals will lose some catching depth behind Yadier Molina, but other than that this shouldn't have much of an impact on their lineup. The 34-year-old had appeared in just four games this season, slashing .125/.222/.125 while failing to tally a run or RBI. Alberto Rosario was called up in a corresponding move.
Pena announced on Twitter that he will be joining the U.S. Army Reserve this offseason.
Pena, 34, defected from Cuba years ago and is currently an American citizen. He has apparently been contemplating joining the Army for some time, although his contract prohibits fully enlisting in the Army. While the announcement doesn't affect Pena's ability to play for the Cardinals this season, his playing career might not last much longer.
Pena (knee) was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Following an extended rehab assignment at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, Pena will replace Eric Fryer as the Cardinals' backup catcher. Pena has yet to play in the majors this season, and he had just 10 hits (all singles) in 52 at-bats during his stay in the minors.
Pena (knee) is expected to be activated off the disabled list Tuesday, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
In a corresponding move, the Cardinals expect to designate current backup catcher Eric Fryer for assignment. Over Pena's 20-day rehab assignment, he slashed an unimpressive .192/.218/.192.
Pena (knee) rejoined the Cardinals on Monday but will not be activated prior to their game, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
This is a good sign as Pena is likely to return very soon. The 33-year-old has yet to play at the major league level in 2016, but he did hit .273/.334/.324 in 108 games with the Reds last season. Once activated, he will likely serve as a reserve to Yadier Molina.
Pena (knee) took a leave from his rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield for personal reasons, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
It's unknown when Pena will return to his rehab assignment, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny says it should be sometime in the near future. In his time with Springfield, Pena has shown mobility behind the plate, but has just three hits after 19 at-bats. Upon his return, Pena will remain in the minors for additional at-bats so he can fix his timing at the plate.
Pena (knee) will begin his rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Springfield.
Pena has been on the shelf since spring training due to some loose cartilage in his left knee that had to be surgically removed. He was initially expected to miss only a month, but the veteran has taken slightly longer than expected to get back behind the plate. Regardless, Tuesday marks a major step forward in his progression towards returning to the Cardinals. Given the length of his absence, St. Louis may opt to keep him on the rehab assignment for several games while he gets re-acclimated to game action.
Pena (left knee surgery) ran at 65 percent effort on the field Wednesday and hit coach-pitched balls in the cage, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports.
It doesn't sound like Pena is all that close to going on a rehab assignment, but it's encouraging that he is making strides in his recovery. Running tests, particularly taking turns on the bases, as well as spending time in his catching crouch will be key hurdles he'll have to clear in the coming weeks.
Pena (knee) will go through several running tests Wednesday as he continues his recovery, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Pena has been working on his arm strength for a while now but he'll have to get his legs back to 100 percent before he's activated from the disabled list.
Pena (knee) underwent surgery Tuesday and is expected to need about a month to recover, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports.
The surgery was to remove a loose piece of cartilage from his left knee, and while the club initially believed it might only be a two-week recovery, the team is now prepared to be without him for the rest of April. He should serve as the Cardinals backup catcher when he rejoins the team in May.
|Minor League Batting Stats|