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Carlos Pena is going to start riding the pine

Aug 31, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

Carlos Pena, Bartolo Colon

Carlos Pena is the starting first baseman for a team that wants to make the playoffs. Carlos Pena is hitting .188/.318/.339.  Teams that make the playoffs usually don’t have starting first basemen who hit .188/.318/.339. Ergo:

Manager Joe Maddon made a point to say there still will be days Carlos Peña plays first base. But he made it clear Thursday that Peña is not going to play nearly as much, with the job now to be shared three ways.

Marc Topkin reports that the new arrangement will be Jeff Keppinger playing first base regularly against left-handers with Luke Scott sharing time with Pena against righties.

Pena is 0 for his last 17 as the Rays have been shut out six times in August. That doesn’t play, even if you can occasionally hit one out of the park. The fact that he’s losing time to Luke Scott, who hasn’t been great shakes this year himself, tells you all you need to know.

  1. shaggylocks - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Well, to his credit, it does look like he draws a lot of walks for someone with such a low batting average.

  2. plmathfoto - Aug 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Dude has always been (in this order, well kinda on the last two): Strikeout, walk, homer, other

  3. tmohr - Aug 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Since May 1, Pena is “hitting” 165/295/304.

    If the Rays miss out on the postseason, this, plus the decaying corpse of Hideki Matsui being given ~100 PA, will loom large

  4. GoneYickitty - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Not sure why they weren’t all over Overbay … would have been a huge increase in production at 1B.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 31, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      Anyone hitting north of the Mendoza line would be a huge increase in production.

  5. raysfan1 - Aug 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    About time.

  6. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 31, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I love Pena, great guy, but sadly it’s overdue. Keppinger should be in as an every day starter and should have been since he came back from the DL.

    With that said, the problem goes deeper than just Pena. One bad hitter doesn’t get your shutout 6 times in a month. The blame for that goes to the hitters themselves, the hitting coach, and the manager that hangs onto the underachievers for too long. Shelton should have been fired in the offseason and Pena and Matsui saw way too much time at the plate. Much of Maddon’s stubbornness I love, but he needs to realize that it doesn’t work in every situation.

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