Pena doing the job

Comparing pitchers to hitters
Game 74: Down with the sickness

He didn’t have quite the game that Brett Gardner had, but backup infielder Ramiro Pena quietly stepped in at short yesterday and did the job while Derek Jeter sat out with the flu. Marc Carig spoke to Pena, who says he takes extra batting practice daily to keep himself sharp. Hitting .268-.310-.341 overall but .344-.382.500 as a shortstop, Pena has shined on defense and has been the club’s best utility infielder since … well … I’m not sure. What do you guys think, when was the last time the Yanks had a backup infielder as good as Pena?

Comparing pitchers to hitters
Game 74: Down with the sickness
  • J.R.

    It’d be fun to try and rile people up by saying Cairo.

    But Gonzalez was about the same last year.

    • http://161stStreet.wordpress.com Chris A

      I really don’t understand why people disliked Miguel Cairo, I kind of liked him. I do feel Pena has been better though, and I wouldn’t say Gonzalez was this good, he couldn’t hit.

      • thebusiness

        Alberto Gonzalez was a better hitter and still is…

      • Jeremy

        Cairo was a totally adequate utility infielder with no real hitting ability. What bothered me was that he started way too many games, sometimes at first base. Granted, this is really a problem I had with Torre, not Cairo.

      • Bryan

        Yes definetly since Miguel Cairo. He played solid defense all over the infield and he did he great job in ’04 when he took over 2B for Womack going .292/.346/.417 very comparable and slightly better than Pena. Bellinger couldn’t hit but was a good defender even in the outfield too. Sojo is definitely my all time fave UF for the Yankees. Hey he got the winning hit in the 2000 Subway Series. Just for that puts him tops in my book.

  • Drew

    I loved watching Cairo and Wilson but Ramiro is one slick MFer.

  • TheLastClown

    Luis Sojo!! :)

  • Salty Buggah

    Wilson Betemit!!!

    • Anyone

      The LEGEND

  • Brett

    I’m with Sojo.
    Who else could also then go on to manage in the minors.

  • thebusiness

    SSS

    Pena can’t hit a lick but I love the guy.

  • Bill

    How quickly we forget about Clay Bellinger, a true Yankee! I bet people actually think Sojo was a true Yankee. He was the Fransisco Cervelli of his day.

    • TheLastClown

      Everybody that signs their name on a contract to play baseball, if the contract issuer happens to be the New York Yankees, is a true Yankee.

  • Tripp

    I’m inclined to go with Jose Vizcaino due to his heroics in the 2000 Subway Series. Game winning hit in the 1st game in the 13th!

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      He wasn’t really much of a hitter, either.

  • Jeremy

    Cairo started 38 games for the Yankees at first base over two seasons. Therefore, he had to have been a great hitter!

    Right?!

  • ArodMVP217 FTW!

    Craig is a damned good beat writer for the ledger. underrated.

  • Jake H

    I like Pena. Great D and can put the ball in play.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Luis Sojo says hello.

    • Jeremy

      Sojo is absolutely, without doubt the correct answer, but largely for reasons that have nothing to do with his everyday contributions. And for proof, look no further than his Wikipedia page (key excerpts below):

      In his career, Sojo filled a role as a utility infielder for the Blue Jays, Angels, Mariners, Pirates and, most notably, for the Yankees. He is regarded by many sportwriters and Yankees fans as one of the most important and best reserve players in the team’s history.

      In October 2000, Sojo turned from a role player to a World Series hero in the decisive Game 5 of the Subway Series against the New York Mets. With the score tied at two in the ninth inning and two outs, Sojo delivered a two-RBI single against Al Leiter.

      2003 was a unique year for Sojo. … Sojo was invited to the Yankees Old Timers game, where he hit the game-winning home run off Ron Guidry. Later that season, the Yankees resigned him as an active player, and he appeared in three games to conclude the season. He may be the only Yankee (or overall player) in history to play in an Old Timers Game and later a regular season game in the same year.

      Was called ‘The best .200 hitter ever” by Yankees radio announcer John Sterling.

      When registering for hotel stays, Sojo used the alias Harry Pelotas to avoid unwanted fan attention.

  • Mike44

    Pena has better speed than any of the names mentioned on here although I would take Sojo over him. Cairo gave you good at bats but based on the first few months, I’d rather have Pena.

  • icedtea

    Charlie Hayes??

  • DCStack

    Randy Velarde

  • J.R.

    Gonzalez had a pretty good bat and good glove. I’m actually going with him.

  • J.R.

    Is Cody Ransom a backup 3B or is he a viable option at short? Or emergency at SS only?

  • Peter Lacock

    Tom Tresh

  • YankeeJosh

    I vote for the immortal Andy Stankiewicz. Just cause I like dhim and he really did everything well when he first came up for the Yankees.

  • Kel

    Sojo, Homer Bush?

  • KDB

    Velarde is correct

  • Joba-to-the-pen

    Didn’t this site go crazy for Melky last month.Now everybody loves Brett Gardner and Pena with 1 good week.Remember Gardner played good in spring training,had a decent April,lost he’s job in May and is having a good week in June.

    This is as stupid as the Phil Hughes is a good reliever talk.Stop jumping on the bandwagon give it time.

  • Grandma Karkan

    Pena has been adequate at fielding and really offers nothing with the bat. I understand he has logged more time at 3B due to Arod’s early season absence, but at SS he has a UZR/150 of -6.9. Far from gem numbers like some paint him.

  • CapitalT

    Can Andy Fox get some luv

  • MattG

    Gil McDougald