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Sunday, July 26, 2009

USA Today: Royals’ Pena Jr. being moved from shortstop to pitcher

So, will Pena Jr be eligible for a Tony C award if he succeeds as a big league pitcher?

Tony Pena Jr. has hit like a pitcher for the past two years, so the Kansas City Royals plan to convert him to one.

Pena, who was the Royals’ shortstop on opening day in 2007 and 2008, has hit .156 with 62 strikeouts and eight walks in 276 at-bats the last two years. He was designated for assignment July 16 with a .098 average and one extra-base hit.

After clearing waivers, the Royals outrighted him Friday to Class AAA Omaha, but instead of reporting to the Pacific Coast League, Pena could be taking a detour to the Royals’ complex in Surprise, Ariz., to work off the mound.

Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:06 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:31 PM (#3267533)
This is a good move. He's actually looked quite effective on the mound the few times he's been up there.
   2. CraigK Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3267534)
Congratulations; it took them until now to do what I've been doing on Power Pros for the last 2 years.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3267535)
Should have done this immediately after he had that one awesome inning
   4. TomH Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:41 PM (#3267547)
Gold Gloves in his future! :)
   5. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:43 PM (#3267548)
ok, Major League Comeback POTY is more likely for Pena
   6. Depressoteric Posted: July 26, 2009 at 07:46 PM (#3267550)
This is a move made of pure awesome. Even if it doesn't shake out, everyone around here has been cracking wise about how Pena was better suited to a relief role after his outings on the mound. Now the Royals are giving it a shot!

I hope he turns into Joe Nathan.
   7. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 26, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3267573)
I don't think people were cracking wise. I think they were making an obvious observation.

Pitchers around the league are pissed off today after this article suggested Pena was in their league as a hitter.
   8. 1k5v3L Posted: July 26, 2009 at 08:40 PM (#3267607)
Did he attack a police officer screaming "I'm Tony #### Pena, Jr."?
   9. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 26, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3267669)
LOVE IT, they should have done this years ago.

if
this works, could there be any strategic advantage to this?
as in Pena comes in and starts the inning pitching to a RH batter, he shifts to SS as Hillman b rings in a lefty to face a lefthanded batter, then Pena moves back to pitcher for the final RHB.
I remember trying to figure all this out when Dave Mccarthy switched to pitching.
   10. CraigK Posted: July 26, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3267679)
if this works, could there be any strategic advantage to this?
as in Pena comes in and starts the inning pitching to a RH batter, he shifts to SS as Hillman b rings in a lefty to face a lefthanded batter, then Pena moves back to pitcher for the final RHB.
I remember trying to figure all this out when Dave Mccarthy switched to pitching.


Good idea, but this doesn't sound like Trey Hillman; seems more up Tony La Russa's alley.
   11. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: July 26, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3267694)
it's far too complicated for Hillman.

The guy doesn't believe in splits
   12. Tripon Posted: July 26, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3267703)


Good idea, but this doesn't sound like Trey Hillman; seems more up Tony La Russa's alley.


You mean Lou Pinella. And I think there's a rule that forces a player that he can only be taken off the mound and reinserted only once.
   13. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 26, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3267708)
And I think there's a rule that forces a player that he can only be taken off the mound and reinserted only once.


Rule 3.03 Comment: A pitcher may change to another position only once during the same inning; e.g. the pitcher will not be allowed to assume a position other than a pitcher more than once in the same inning.
   14. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: July 26, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3267711)
Boy, the Royals' production at SS has got to be historically sucky. In addition to Pena at -32 OPS+, they have Aviles at 22 and Luis Hernandez at 19. Willie Bloomquist is a more respectable 80, but I can't imagine his D is anything but horrible.
   15. Tuque Posted: July 26, 2009 at 11:23 PM (#3267718)
That's a good enough idea that I think there's a chance it might be outlawed immediately after it's first used

edit: apparently somebody thought to outlaw it already
   16. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: July 26, 2009 at 11:25 PM (#3267722)
What the hell? That rule is silly. Why would you do that?
   17. Greg K Posted: July 26, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3267731)
What the hell? That rule is silly. Why would you do that?

In general I can get behind a rule that says you can't change pitchers more than once in an inning simply because it's damned annoying. Although if you have two guys rotating between SS and P all game, I'd for that. Sounds fun, and hopefully they wouldn't need warm up pitches every time, so it may even go smoothly.
   18. Norcan Posted: July 26, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3267745)
I was intrigued so I checked out his appearance from last year and all I could think about was how unusual his arm angle was. It was over the top in that his forearm looked vertical at release but it was from below his shoulder. Another thing is that he's got an nba body--his arms are unusually long.

Another shortstop that I think could make the move and might if his bat doesn't improve is Paul Janish. He pitched earlier this year and though he got bombed, in his defense it was against the meat of the Milwaukee lineup and he wasn't throwing any breaking balls. He had a very smooth motion and he topped out at 91 like Pena did.
   19. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:12 AM (#3267764)
I don't know about you, but I love seeing stuff I've never seen before in baseball, that's part of the sport's charm, all the weird little moments ('kurkjems').
Can't figure why they'd make a rule to prevent something fun, and realistically, marginally helpful at best.
   20. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:13 AM (#3267768)
I would've loved to see Shawon Dunston try his hand at pitching, though he might have killed someone.
   21. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:22 AM (#3267774)
Although if you have two guys rotating between SS and P all game, I'd for that.

He didn't quite do that but Whitey Herzog did do something similar a few times in the 80s with the Cardinals, sticking a pitcher in LF/RF for a batter and bringing them in. Todd Worrell ended up in the outfield for 4 games.
   22. flournoy Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3267776)
[Paul Janish] pitched earlier this year and though he got bombed, in his defense it was against the meat of the Milwaukee lineup and he wasn't throwing any breaking balls.


He also got bombed by the Phillies. He entered that game with a 45.00 ERA and saw it go up.
   23. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:34 AM (#3267783)
Janish pitched some at Rice but obviously focused on SS. He did show flashes of competence in that Milwaukee game - I think he struck out Hardy swinging - but I'd give him at lot more at bats before committing to a switch. Especially given how weak the Reds are at SS.

The Reds did convert Jerry Gil, a SS while he was in Arizona's system. In 1.5 years it hasn't gone so well but he's got a live arm (he's hit 95).
   24. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:46 AM (#3267793)
marmol and wells are both former position players who converted to pitcher
   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:52 AM (#3267797)
He didn't quite do that but Whitey Herzog did do something similar a few times in the 80s with the Cardinals, sticking a pitcher in LF/RF for a batter and bringing them in. Todd Worrell ended up in the outfield for 4 games.


Gary Coleman, on instructions from his father, Padres' usher Robert Guillaume, made great use of the tactic in a crucial pennant-race game in The Kid from Left Field.
   26. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:54 AM (#3267798)
Yhency Brazoban was a converted outfielder.
   27. chris p Posted: July 27, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3267800)
here we go ...

10/1/91 SD@LA
   28. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:10 AM (#3267809)
The Reds did convert Jerry Gil, a SS while he was in Arizona's system. In 1.5 years it hasn't gone so well but he's got a live arm (he's hit 95).


He's usually around 91-92.

Gil had his best AA outing the other night, throwing four one-hit innings in relief (with most importantly, no walks) and picking up his first win at the AA level. He's still got to get consistent with his breaking and offspeed stuff, but he has made progress.

-- MWE
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:12 AM (#3267811)
Especially given how weak the Reds are at SS.


Cozart's been looking decent at AA. Valaika's not having a good year in AAA, but he's also been hurt, and I still believe he'll come around.

-- MWE
   30. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:23 AM (#3267825)
Trevor Hoffman was drafted as a shortstop.
   31. Northpaw Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:24 AM (#3267828)
Bob Lemon made it as a 3B, then went to pitching.
   32. Curse of the Andino Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:25 AM (#3267829)
Gary Coleman, on instructions from his father, Padres' usher Robert Guillaume, made great use of the tactic in a crucial pennant-race game in The Kid from Left Field.


Read down to see this.

Left satisfied.
   33. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:30 AM (#3267837)
Gary Coleman couldn't carry Billy Chapin's jock.
   34. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 27, 2009 at 01:55 AM (#3267859)
Dave Stieb was drafted as an outfielder.
   35. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3267866)
i've been watching a couple of these guys myself. sergio santos was a top 100 prospect in 2005, and has shat the bed pretty much every year since. he was moved to the bullpen this year, and he's kinda feeling his way through it so far. he's got an ERA over 7 in 15 games between hi and low A. he does have a 16/6/13 K/BB/IP ratio, but he's a long ways off.

lance niekro also just converted to pitcher, though he's doing it as a knuckleballer.


also, jason motte was a catcher for a while before he was moved to the pen. he's got a ton of upside if he can stop being such a ##### on the mound.

chris sampson is another of the converted pitchers, as is brandon backe, if i'm not mistaken.
   36. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:15 AM (#3267921)
wasn't Mariano an infielder in A-ball?

I mean really there are tons o guys that could do either in HS/College/rookieball, but prob not that many who switched after five years or so, Wake did though right?
That's cool about Lance Neikro, I wondered what happened to him
   37. Ryan Lind Posted: July 27, 2009 at 03:28 AM (#3267926)
Rafael Soriano used to be a 1B/LF that couldn't hit a lick.

Tom Glavine used to be a forward.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 27, 2009 at 04:36 AM (#3267971)
I wish CBW was still posting here, I'd be interested in a breakdown of Pena.

He also got bombed by the Phillies. He entered that game with a 45.00 ERA and saw it go up.

A Wang-esque performance.

Matt Bush was drafted as a...oh, nevermind.
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 27, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3268298)
if this works, could there be any strategic advantage to this?
as in Pena comes in and starts the inning pitching to a RH batter, he shifts to SS as Hillman b rings in a lefty to face a lefthanded batter, then Pena moves back to pitcher for the final RHB.
I remember trying to figure all this out when Dave Mccarthy switched to pitching.


The Royals could do the same with Ron Mahay, who played in the big leauges as an OF. However, since they have never done such a switch with him, I would imagine they wouldn't with Pena either. Its tougher in the AL because you lose your DH if the pitcher takes the field, and god forbid we lose the bat of Mike Jacobs!

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