Ramiro Pena’s offensive season

Felix king as Mariners blank Yanks 6-0
Andy, Nova and the plan going forward

Ramiro Pena’s triple on Wednesday night helped boost his OPS from .456 to .486.  On the list of worst Yankee offensive (in more ways than one) seasons since 1950 his game Wednesday night dropped him from 8th worst to 10th worst (min. 100 ab’s, see chart below).  I bring this up to not bash Ramiro Pena, but just to show how truly inept he is with the bat.  Now that Eduardo Nunez has been called up to the big leagues, there is no justification for having Pena start a game.

Pena will stick around because of his glove, but that doesn’t mean he should be getting any meaningful at-bat’s.  Sure Nunez isn’t a great fielder and is a very flawed hitter, but he’s Babe Ruth with the bat compared to Pena.  We know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Ramiro Pena simply will not be productive batting.  Nunez probably won’t be great, but there’s just about no way he can be worse than Pena.  So why, with Nunez eligible, did Pena get the start Thursday against the Tigers?  Maybe they didn’t want to throw Nunez right in, especially in a day game.  Maybe they wanted to bring him into a game as a reserve first to get his feet wet which they were able to do with a 9 run lead.  Whatever the reason, Pena, who remarkably already has 120 plate appearances (heading into Thursday) should end the season with no more than 150.  He’s been that bad.

His triple the other night was his 2nd extra base hit.  In 28 starts he has 3 two hit games.  Of the other 9 Yankee seasons since 1950 with an OPS less than .500, and SLG and OBP’s below .250, 4 of them happened before the DH existed (though non-pitchers).  Of the other 4, 3 were in the 70’s and 2 were in the 80’s.  Yes, it has been 23 years since a Yankee has been so poor offensively.  If it wasn’t for risk of injury, the Yankees might be better off having the DH hit for Pena and have the pitchers hit for themselves.  It’s coming down to that.  All of this is a simple plea to Joe Girardi, do not start Ramiro Pena.  Ever.

Felix king as Mariners blank Yanks 6-0
Andy, Nova and the plan going forward
  • zs190

    Nunez is getting the start at 3B today, looking forward to see what he can do. I think the reason he didn’t start earlier is because he’s a right handed hitter and Joe wanted him to start against a LHP to ease him in.

  • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch aka Master of the Obvious

    From your lips to Mo’s (and Joe’s) ears.

  • Slu

    Frankly, Pena has no business being in the major leagues. His glove just isn’t good enough to make up for the fact that he is an automatic out. I’m not even sure Ozzie Smith’s glove would be worth a sub-.500 OPS.

  • Jeff B

    Dick Williams used to pinch hit for light-hitting Dick Green all the time. Like in his first AB! (this works better on the road…) Start the game with Pena on defense, and then when his #9 slot comes up in the 2nd or 3rd, pinch hit for him and bring in Nunez. With the current injuries though, we don’t have a deep bench so if Nunez gets injured…but at least you keep the bat out of Pena’s hands as much as possible.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Maybe he’ll hit a go ahead homerun in a one game playoff and then we’ll all just forget how much he sucks.

    • Accent Shallow

      Here’s hoping, but I bet Pena can’t even get it out of the park in batting practice.

  • Cecala

    This article made me laugh

  • Ed

    I expected the list to be Cody Ransom type guys. Surprised to see names I know like Dent, Boyer, and Michael.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Well, to be fair, Bucky Dent was a bad hitter. Just because he’s got a “big” name doesn’t mean he won’t be included on a list of shitty hitters, haha.

  • KofH

    Gene Michael?!

  • spark

    I have found myself being happy when Pena “just” strikes out or pops out with men on base instead of him hitting one of his standard ground balls that will be turned into 2 outs instead of 1. Cervelli has been in this category as well for the last 3 months. No reason for 2 hitters that bad to be on a championship caliber club, let alone be semi-regular starters, with a $200 Mil payroll. No reason.

    • SullyLV

      Derek Jeter and his 18 double play’s say’s hi.Oh and with 40 games to go you will see more.Let’s just hope he doesn’t end any more games like he did a couple of games ago.

  • Ellis

    “I bring this up to not bash Ramiro Pena, but just to show how truly inept he is with the bat.”


  • Lluisergi

    “but he’s (NUNEZ) Babe Ruth with the bat compared to Pena.” I think that is the stupidest thing i’ve ever read here at RAB.

  • Total Dominication
  • larryf

    The “Stick” had a terribly weak stick and was equally bad from the left and right side just like Ramiro. I am old enough to have seen Jim Mason-very painful left handed hitting shortstop. He was so bad that the light hitting Fred Stanley was a major upgrade. Bad Yankee memories.

    Gene Michael spoke at my little league trophy banquet years ago. He enjoyed his scotch….

  • uclabruin

    “I bring this up to not bash Ramiro Pena, but just to show how truly inept he is with the bat.”

    I bring this up to not bash you, but just to show how truly inept you are with the english language.

    By the way, his 23 hits/15 RBIs are A-Rod like numbers. That’s why they don’t mind having his bat in the lineup. His hit to RBI ratio shows that when he’s in a spot where he can drive in runs, he gets it done. With men on and 2 out, he’s hitting a much better .241. By comparison, Jeter’s hitting only .254 in that situation, and Granderson hits .222. With RISP and 2 outs, he’s hitting .250, the exact same as Granderson. With the bases loaded, Pena’s 3 for 6. Jeter’s only 1 for 12. Fact of the matter is, Pena gets it done when he needs to.

  • smurfy

    I agree with uclabruin, and wish fans more often realized the difficulty of hitting only infrequently. Pena has a dandy lefty swing, but does struggle to cope with crafty pitches. He does what he can, like the bunt he laid last week, the best I’ve seen all year.

    And wish they appreciated good defense, the glue that enables good pitching, which leads to the team pride that calls on hitters to hit in the clutch.

  • uclabruin

    By the way, Pena has a .944 fielding % while playing 3rd base. By comparison, last year’s NL Gold Glove 3rd basemen has a .955 FPCT. The two gold glovers from 08 are at .954 and .953. So to be only .10 off playing out of position is pretty damn good. Meanwhile, if he’s at short, his natural position, he’s fielding at a .979 mark. That’s .001 less than the NL gold glover from the last 3 seasons.