25 July, 2006

MLB Debut - Tony Pena (1)

Tony Pena. You've heard that name in a baseball context before. Though the Tony Pena you usually think of retired at the age of 78 and his knees are made out of zircon. Meanwhile, Ramon Antonio Pena is the second debutante Tony Pena this year. We'll cover Tony Francisco Pena Jr, fellow Dominican, at a later date.

Tony Pena. Only, this Tony Pena started his US baseball career as Adriano Rosario and five years younger. When his identity falsification emerged, he became Ramon Pena. Some guides list him as Antonio Pena.

Right that out the way, he has still managed to make it to the majors. That's because Pena has a plus fastball and a serviceable slider and curve, and he shows good command. Though he's featured almost exclusively as a started in the Minors and was tabbed as a possible back-end starter for the D-Backs in Spring Training, Pena will most likely end up as a reliever.

He was recalled by Arizona on 18 July when Tony Clark went on the DL. Pena had racked up 13 saves this year operating out of the 'pen for Tennessee (20.1 innings, 0.89 ERA, 1.31 WHiP) and Tucson (26.1 innings, 1.71 ERA, 0.72 WHiP).

Pena recorded a 1-2-3 seventh inning in his maiden appearance on 18 July versus the Dodgers at Chase Field. He was tagged for a Nomar Garciaparra triple in his second inning of work chasing home Kenny Lofton who had doubled in the previous at bat. The Dodgers won 4-1 behind 7 strong innings from Chad Billingsley who picked up his first Major League win.

Five days later, Pena pitched two flawless innings against the Rockies. Whatever his name, this guy might stick.

The Baseball Cube


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