It's Time for Tony Pena Jr. to Go

July 4, 2009 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

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This is not a new subject. I wrote that Tony Pena Jr. was the worst player in the league last year and he continues to prove me right.

Pena, using Fangraph’s value index, is costing the Kansas City Royals money. He is currently stealing roughly $425K from the Royals this year. Fangraph’s has him at -0.6 WAR which is a -$2.5M value. Last year Pena posted a -1.3 WAR which is a -$5.7M value. For his career he has a 0.1 which equates to a -$0.3M value, and this includes a season in which his defense helped give him a positive value of $6.9M in 2007.

Pena has never had a good bat. He is a career .230/.250/.303 hitter with a wOBA of .239. Over the past two seasons he has a combined slash total of .157/.180/.194 and that includes 1 homer and 8 walks in 280 plate appearances. By the way, two of those eight walks were intentional. I would like to exactly what was on the mind of the managers that intentionally walked him. They should’ve been fired on the spot. Oh, and his OPS+ in these past two seasons is +1. That is unheard of! He is an abismal 4-43 on the current season.

Pena’s defense has always been where his value is and he is showing no value there anymore. Here are his UZR/150 rating in his career:

  UZR/150 Innings FLD%
2006 44.9 84.0 .977
2007 19.0 1273.2 .966
2008 12.2 592.0 .966
2009 0.2 140.0 .946

As you can see, his numbers have gone down each year. He has no offensive or defensive value whatsoever now. If there is any baseball value left in Tony Pena Jr. it is on the mound. We all remember the game last season when Pena came out of the pen in relief and pitched a perfect inning, striking out one. He sported a low-to-mid 90s fastball in his outing. If Pena is to stay in professional baseball he needs to do the Rick Ankiel reverse because he is costing the Royals money and wins as a position player.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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