When Alex Rodriguez needed surgery on his hip, the Yankees figured on Cody Ransom filling in for him. However, when Cody Ransom went down with a quad injury last weekend in Boston, there was no certainty about who would take his place.
Angel Berroa was called up from Scranton for the series against the Red Sox, but he made two costly errors on Sunday night, and the Yankees were looking for a new solution at third base.
They decided to go with 23-year-old Ramiro Pena, who made the roster out of spring training, but hadn't seen much action with Ransom in every day.
For the past several years, the Yankees have been trying to fill certain holes with players that couldn't hack it in New York. At the same time, they have been working to improve their farm system, and have been doing some promoting from within the organization. (Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Melky Cabrera, and Phil Hughes).
Pena looks like he should be walking the halls of a high school rather than walking in the Yankee dugout, yet here he is, showing everyone why he belongs in the majors.
Pena came up as a short stop, but has made the transition to third relatively easily. He has been known for his ability to flash the leather, but this switch-hitter has also shown that he can be counted on for some timely hitting as well.
In the eleven games that he has played in, Pena is batting .333 with four RBI. Those numbers aren't mind blowing. He has no home runs and only one extra base hit, but he's managed to walk three times, and has shown good discipline at the plate in his relatively limited appearances.
With the injury to Ransom, and the Yankees not sure the capacity that Alex Rodriguez will be at when he returns, Ramiro Pena has an opportunity to show the Yankees what they have with him around. Pena can hit from both sides of the plate, which means the Yankees have the option of having five switch hitters in their lineup. Not many opposing managers like dealing with that when they're trying to do match-ups out of the bullpen at the end of a game.
Pena is a good option for the Yankees off the bench as well. He has good speed and can steal bases as well as score runs as needed.
The only problem is that with a healthy A-Rod, Pena is going to have less and less opportunities to get into games.
The Yankees are set at the third base position through 2014, and it is unlikely Derek Jeter will be going anywhere anytime soon that Pena would be able to take over at short.
However, if Jeter needs a breather at some point in the season, or if A-Rod suffers any kind of setback, Joe Girardi knows that he can go to Pena without much worry.
Ramiro Pena is adding his name to the list of Baby Bombers that are showing the rest of the team that they can contribute, too. Hopefully, Pena has plenty of opportunities to show off the skills he has because there is no question that he has lots of them.
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