The Wily Mo Pena experiment has ended, at least for now. The Arizona Diamondbacks have optioned the hard-hitting slugger back to AAA Reno to make room for Geoff Blum, who is returning from the DL, a place he has been since day one of the 2011 season.
Wily Mo made an impact immediately, homering in his first game back in the majors against the Kansas City Royals. He hit four more homers, but with Wily Mo, there was no place on the field and it is unfortunate Kirk Gibson couldn’t find more time for him on a regular basis.
From day one, Gibson was pretty dead set against Pena taking the field at any point, just being a designated hitter and relegated to pinch hitter once interleague ended. Pena did start the final game of the St. Louis Cardinals series last weekend prior to the All-Star break. Pena could never match the batting average he had in Reno though. Most of that I attribute to spending most of his time on the bench.
So what’s next for Pena? Probably in another organization. I hate to say it, but it is probably for the best for Wily Mo if he is going to see any playing time. I won’t rule out a September call up if he hasn’t been traded, but I would hedge my bets on him moving somewhere else.