I was all relieved to have today's recap finally done so I could focus on other things. That put me in a good mood. Then I saw this on Twitter. This put me in a better mood.
# sign OF Wily Mo Pena to a minor league contract.
Wily Mo Pena re-surfaced with thenot long ago, and wound up getting designated for assignment and released after a short stint that saw him bat .196 with zero walks, 19 strikeouts, and a .522 slugging percentage. It was an eye-grabbingly strange performance, and when Pena got cut, everybody was rooting for him to find a new home. He's found one, and, awesomely, it's here.
Pena was called up to the Diamondbacks in the first place because he posted a 1.165 OPS in the PCL that stands as the second-highest mark in the league. He's just mashed in AAA this season after mashing in AAA for a part of last season, too, and now he's joining a Rainiers roster that already includes Carlos Peguero. That's cool.
But what's cooler is that Pena shouldn't have much trouble getting back to the bigs. He was signed to a minor league contract and he's reporting to Tacoma, but the Mariners' roster right now is light on righties and heavy on Jack Cust. Cust serves no purpose now that the team is out of the race, so it stands to reason that Pena has an excellent chance of replacing him before long. And while Pena probably isn't a part of the future, he could definitely be a part of a more entertaining present.
Some of you might think it's wrong for me to welcome Wily Mo Pena after being so critical of Carlos Peguero. For one thing, a big part of the problem with Peguero is that he was playing for a then-contending team instead of somebody better. For another thing, as nutballs as Pena is at the plate, he's more polished than Peguero is. Peguero, you'll notice, OPS'd .622 in a strict platoon. Pena has a career OPS of .753. Wily Mo Pena is like looking into Carlos Peguero's future if a few things develop. He can't play much defense and he can't draw walks, but he has just enough of an idea of the strike zone to punish enough baseballs to keep his slugging percentage up.
Wily Mo Pena. For now, he'll maim pitchers with Tacoma. But we could see him in Seattle soon, and even though he probably wouldn't play very much, oh, the fun we could have when he does.