With the Houston Astros moving from the National League to the American League during the 2013 MLB season, the team needed to find a designated hitter. The Astros ended up signing Carlos Pena to a one-year contract and will likely have him being the DH for most games. Houston is obviously going to be a very bad team this season but Pena could be the one bright spot for the Astros at the plate.
Pena is obviously not a player who is going to hit for a high batting average, as he has hit under .200 in two of the last three seasons. The thing that Pena brings to the table is power though, and while his numbers were down last year, the ballpark in Houston will provide Pena plenty of chances to hit more than 30 home runs in 2013.
The other thing that Pena will bring is the ability to mentor Chris Carter at first base. Carter and Pena will probably rotate between first base and DH but with the youth of Carter, Pena has the ability to take him under his wing and teach him about defense.If Pena can make Carter the same defensive first baseman that he is, Houston will have themselves a player that they can just plug into the lineup every single day for the next decade.
When the move was made I wasn’t a huge fan of Pena going to Houston, but on the Astros Pena can be the shining star of the lineup and should knock in over 90 runs–the Astros don’t have many other players who could do the same. If Pena wants to continue his career after this season, this becomes a pivotal point where Pena must be the team leader and tries to help Houston avoid losing 110 games.