The Chicago White Sox are going to look for repeat success with a position player turned into a pitcher with the signing of former shortstop Tony Pena Jr. The last time that the White Sox tried, this they found success. Remember Sergio Santos?
Pena wasn’t having much success as a shortstop. In his four career at the MLB level, Pena only hit .228 and drove in 66 runs. Pena’s best year was with the Kansas City Royals in 2007 where he hit .284. After that season, his average dropped off the map, so he decided to give pitching a try.
Pena started pitching in the Royals organization in 2009. He was then signed by the San Francisco Giants and then with the Boston Red Sox. In 2012 with the Pawtucket Sox, Pena was 1-9 with a 4.75 ERA in 91 innings he also struck out 62 batters. Pena led the Dominican league with an 11.4 K/9 rate. Overall in his four seasons as a pitcher, he is 14-19 with a 3.98 ERA in 303 innings of work.
The White Sox are deciding to roll the dice and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle like Santos. Santos was another position player who the White Sox grabbed. He was an effective closer, and is now with the Toronto Blue Jays. There isn’t a high risk in signing Pena either. The worst thing that could happen with a signing like this is that Pena doesn’t pitch well, and the White Sox release him.
This is a no harm, no foul type of signing. Let’s see if it works out.
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