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.