Tony Pena Jr., The Pitcher

Tony Pena Jr.’s quest to reach the majors as a pitcher is going swimmingly. Over the weekend Pena Jr. made his tenth appearance as a minor league pitcher. This marked his first as a pitcher in Triple-A, and Pena Jr. did pretty well, going three innings, fanning three, walking nobody, and allowing only two hits. Previously Pena had several appearances at Class-A Burlington with 14 strikeouts in 14.3 innings being the stat of importance.

Given their aggressive approach in advancing Pena, and the fact that he’s previously pitched in the majors I’d imagine he may get a few appearances for the big league club this September. It’s not like the Royals are going to lose anything by running Pena – a pitcher who may or may not have a better shot at a major league future than countless other Royals relievers – to the mound.

I would comment that Trey Hillman and company should embrace the idea of getting familiar with all the potential nuances and advantage of Pena’s flexibility, but being in the American League means there aren’t many to take note of. Lou Piniella and Bobby Cox have shown the willingness to keep two pitchers in the game at once by taking the outgoing pitcher and placing him in the corner outfield, only to replace the new pitcher a batter or two later.

I suppose that means Pena’s greatest usage may come during interleague play. His bat is something to avoid, but he seems like a twitchy manager’s fantasy: a reliever, pinch runner, and defensive substitute rolled into one.



Print This Post





Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Shush
Guest
Shush
6 years 9 months ago

For real? How does the fact that he pitching an inning of mop-up work as a shortstop come into play as a reason for a probably call-up?

Shush
Guest
Shush
6 years 9 months ago

pitching = pitched. So irked by Obama indoctrinating our children that I can’t even spell today.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 9 months ago

Apparently Democrats make up the majority of PM/early AM fangraphs readers.

Davidceisen
Guest
Davidceisen
6 years 9 months ago

Apparently those that hate education and hard work make up the majority of late morning/afternoon Fangraphs readers.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 9 months ago

If that was to me, way to completely miss my attempt at unoffensive humor regarding his post rating.

Davidceisen
Guest
Davidceisen
6 years 9 months ago

I just have a hard time comprehending people getting offended about the elected leader of our country telling children to work hard in school. But Fangraphs isn’t about politics, so I’ll leave it there.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 9 months ago

I thought he was refering to health care or something.

Too early to be making my smartass, hate everyone, rather watch baseball comments I guess.

Nick
Guest
Nick
6 years 9 months ago

It’s nice that he’s having some decent outings but, come on, you know how this movie is gonna end.

Will
Guest
Will
6 years 9 months ago

i believe in tpj

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
6 years 9 months ago

Obligatory he’s already a better pitcher than he was a hitter comment. Wish him the best though. Super utility relievers are where it’s at.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 9 months ago

Any shot of getting a minor league velocity / movement chart? I know it’s a SSS alert but it looks like he’s getting a respectable number of strikeouts. Maybe the Royals can end up trading him to the NL after all is said and done where I think his well above average glove (+14.8 UZR/150 as a SS) would make him a pretty nice roster addition. Imagine getting to pitch him in the 8th and move him to SS in the 9th, heck of a luxury.

Whateverfor
Guest
Whateverfor
6 years 9 months ago

I can tell you that he looked very good when he pitched that inning in the big leagues. Velocity was only decent, in the low 90s, but he had great movement on his fastball and slider. It looked like big-league stuff.

Eric Cioe
Guest
Eric Cioe
6 years 9 months ago

Agreed. I saw that inning and he combined a 90 mph fastball from the Randy Johnson arm slot and even flashed a curve that caught Pudge looking. He might be a decent pitcher. And the idea of having him enter as a setup man and then move to short as a defensive replacement is worth trying a couple of times.

Jim
Guest
Jim
6 years 9 months ago

Something about being a crappy shortstop must help your pitching. See Also: Nick Green

mike
Guest
mike
6 years 9 months ago

I too have a problem with people getting offended by the President talking to school kids. Of course I at least know that thanks to the Wash Post and a Democratically controlled Congress, the first Bush was “investigated” for having the nerve to talk to school kids.

Neither was a terribly important speech and neither was the least offensive doing it but somehow hypocritical people in the other party always manage to react offended.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 9 months ago

Whoa now, let’s not turn this into political blah blah.

(even though I’m kind of at fault, I’ll cut it off at the pass, sort of).

mike
Guest
mike
6 years 9 months ago

Mine wasn’t about politics as much as about hypocrisy and you didnt get me to respond, david did.

Davidceisen
Guest
Davidceisen
6 years 9 months ago

Sorry if Democrats were mean to George Bush when I was four. I apologize for my blatant hypocrisy. Now go back to talking about baseball.

Jim
Guest
Jim
6 years 9 months ago

So is White Sox(former DBacks) reliever Tony Pena going to become a SS and s*ck at hitting, just to balance things out?

‘Cause the universe demands it, you know. ;)

Tom
Guest
Tom
6 years 9 months ago

TPJ and Micah Owings need to fuse themselves into one human being. And then Dusty Baker could destroy him.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 9 months ago

Even Jon Heyman agrees that Dusty Baker’s star is pretty much done. I see him getting one more year in 2010 before Cinci gives up on him. Sure the talent isn’t really there in Cinci, but it doesn’t help when you give poor hitters more PA’s than competant ones.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous
6 years 9 months ago

He is very enthusiastic and competitive player. Keep up the good work!

wpDiscuz