Wily Mo Pena’s role with the 2011 Padres
I think it’s a little ironic that Wily Mo Pena played more games at first base than outfield in AAA last season. Wily played 16 games at first base in 2009 with the Mets AAA affiliate. He logged only 8 games in right field and only 2 games in left. This last year at AAA Portland, Wily played 14 game at first base, 7 in left field and one game in right field. He’s a free agent, but the Padres general manager (Jed Hoyer) sounded positive regarding Pena, and the possibility of retaining Wily to give him a shot in Spring Training next year. Hoyer was reluctent to bring him up down the stretch because of his defensive liabilities in the outfield. This makes me wonder if the Padres believe he could play an even adequate first base? If Adrian Gonzalez were dealt, Kyle Blanks would be the Padres next option on the depth chart. With Kyle coming off of Tommy John surgery, he should see time in AAA to rehab and work on his fundamentals.
I also don’t see Blanks in the outfield again on a permanent basis, and wonder if the Padres brass would even entertain the thought of bringing back Miguel Tejada to play some first base. He could also play some short stop and third base. When the Padres first acquired Tejada they did not actually rule out the possibility of him playing some left-field. Having said that, I don’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility for him to play first base if the Padres decided to deal Adrian Gonzalez. I’m sure Wily Mo Pena played some first base because of Mike Baxter’s (another potential candidate at first base if Adrian were dealt) call up. I still wonder what the Padres have in mind for Wily Mo considering his massive right handed power, the fact that “the Jedi” Hoyer seems to have a warm spot for the big outfielder/first basemen, and has said he wasn’t developed properly by certain organizations.
Check out Wily Mo Pena’s player profile here