Blast from the Past

Remember Wily Mo Pena?

The hulking slugger stomped around Buffalo for a short period in 2009, but left after a disagreement with management.

It turns out that Pena has been pounding the ball out of the park for AAA Las Vegas Reno this year, with 21 homers in 225 at-bats (that’s a homer for every 10.7 ABs) and a 1.176 OPS in 60 games. Because of his prodigious power output, the Arizona Diamondbacks are considering promoting Pena for interleague play, to serve as DH.

You may wonder why a team would keep a slugger like that down in the minors. It’s probably not so much because Pena is a liability in the field, but rather because the D-Backs are leading the NL in homeruns, total bases, and doubles — they don’t necessarily need any more power. However, they could use pitching help, so using Pena in interleague play could be a way to showcase him as a trading piece.

I’m interested to see how this develops; I’ve always found Wily Mo to be a fun hitter to watch. (The rest of his game, not so much.)

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. whit75 June 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm
    I live in Las Vegas isn`t it the Blue Jays minor leugue affiliate.
    • Joe Janish June 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm
      woops … thanks whit75! It’s been fixed. My fact-checker has been fired, as well.
  2. Dan June 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    Many Dback fans would love to see WiillyMo as a bench bat every day, in lieu of the semi dead wood there now.
    The self inflicted veteran log jam is what’s keeping him in Reno, not sufficient bats in the majors.

    As far as power goes there was considerable discussion (and dreaming) about acquiring David Wright or Carlos Beltran to do improve the offense.