Tag: Wily Mo Pena

Mets Get Jason Dubois

jason-duboisThey passed on Manny Ramirez, ignored Raul Ibanez, decided against Adam Dunn, and never considered Casey Blake, before settling on Gary Sheffield as a stopgap.

But finally, the Mets have acquired the big-bodied, power-hitting left fielder they’ve needed since admitting Moises Alou to a nursing home: Jason Dubois.

What do you mean, “who the heck is Jason Dubois?” Doesn’t anyone read Baseball America?

For the uninformed and the ignorant, Jason Dubois is a 6’5″, 225-pound outfielder who once slugged 31 homeruns in a minor league season (2004). He’s been hidden in the Chicago Cubs’ system for 8 of his 9 years in the minors, unable to leapfrog over the Calvin Murrays and Matt Murtons of the world. This year he’s hitting .302 with 11 HRs and 50 RBI in only 275 at-bats — but again, his path blocked to the majors by a stunning array of outfielders in the Cubs’ system. Luckily for the Mets, the Cubs were willing to part with the strapping righthanded hitter, who at 30 years old is in the prime of his athletic life.

Immediately, Dubois arrives as the man with the best raw power in the organization among those who do not require a walker to enter the batter’s box. Following in the footsteps of the departed Wily Mo Pena and Valentino Pascucci, Dubois has prodigious power and a prodigious penchant for striking out — 77 times so far this season. But hey, he’s played in Buffalo before (in 2006) and should be warmly welcomed by the Bisons’ fan base.

And who knows, he might be auditioned in Flushing for a 2010 job in the outfield.

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Martinez Down, Evans Up

nick-evans-mets

The New York Mets have sent outfielder Fernando Martinez back down to AAA Buffalo and have promoted Nick Evans from AA Binghamton.

It is assumed that Martinez was sent down in order to ensure that he would continue to play every day. Though F-Mart did not look overmatched in his debut stint in the bigs, he also did not prove to be much of a difference-maker. What we’ve learned is that he’s a solid all-around ballplayer who needs more time to develop his bat. A star in the making, but not a star just yet.

Interesting to see Evans get the callup as opposed to Wily Mo Pena, who has been hitting .333 in the month of June and starting to show some power. But, Pena is not on the 40-man roster and is out of options, while Evans is on the 40-man and can be optioned back to the minors.

After a very rough start and a demotion to AA, Evans has recently righted the ship, batting .390 with 2 HR, 6 doubles, and 6 RBI in his last ten games. My guess is the Mets are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, and take advantage of the fact Evans is currently “locked in”. If so, it makes sense to start him at 1B right away, if not tonight then tomorrow. Evans has been sharing time with Lucas Duda at 1B and also playing some outfield.

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A Source of Power

wily-mo-buffalo

Jerry Manuel’s opine for power has so far fallen on deaf ears in the front office. But, perhaps the solution can be found from within.

That’s right, there’s a slugging outfielder-first baseman right under our nose (well, actually, in Buffalo) — and he hits from the right side of the plate.

His name is Wily Mo Pena.

Stop laughing … he may be on the way up.

Though he struggled mightily upon joining the organization, Wily Mo has recently picked it up. In his last ten games, Pena is hitting .351 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, and 9 RBI, and is hitting .345 for the month of June.

As mentioned several weeks ago, Pena has tremendous raw power and is only 27 — on the brink of entering his prime. There are many who believe he’ll never recapture the magic that led to his hitting 51 homers before the age of 24, but I point the critics to Nelson Cruz. Cruz — someone I advocated acquiring last year — was labeled as a career “tweener” or “AAAA guy”, but has blossomed in this, his 28th year, with 17 homers and a .288 average in his first 236 at-bats in Texas.

I’m not predicting that a Wily Mo will come in and mash 40 homers. But considering that the Mets are desperate for some punch, and have little chance of acquiring someone from the outside, logic would dictate that Pena’s promotion is imminent.

By the way, not only does Pena play in Buffalo, but he also resembles one. Check out this photo I found of him on Flickr, standing next to Javier Valentin. Even if he can’t hit, his mere presence should cause a bit of fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers:
pena-valentin

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Mets Sign Wily Mo Pena

The Mets have signed enigmatic slugger Wily Mo Pena to a minor league deal.

Pena hit only .205 with 2 homers in 195 ABs last year with the Washington Nationals. However, he suffered from a strained oblique and shoulder issues last season. After undergoing rotator cuff surgery for his right shoulder last year, Pena this year reported discomfort in his left shoulder.

If healthy, the 27-year-old Wily Mo would have the most pure power in the Mets’ minor league system, and is at an age when players generally begin to peak. It’s a no-risk, high-reward signing for the Mets, who can use some righthanded power hitters.

Pena has never been able to recapture the magic of 2004, when he hit 26 HRs in 364 at-bats — a time when players didn’t have to worry about taking drug tests.

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