Arizona Diamondbacks: The Return of Wily Mo Pena

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJune 22, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 21:  Wily Mo Pena #16 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a solo home run in the 5th inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on June 21, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

When the Boston Red Sox traded Bronson Arroyo to the Cincinnati Reds for Wily Mo Pena in the spring of 2006, I thought it was a great trade for the Red Sox.

My rationale? The Red Sox traded a starter that they didn’t need at the time for a right-handed version of David Ortiz.

Ummm, yeah, I really don’t brag about this one too much, as you could imagine. Not one of my highlight predictions.

Despite hitting .301 with 11 HRs in 276 ABs for the Red Sox in 2006, Pena was traded the Washington Nationals in August of the next year and never fulfilled my prophecy of Pena becoming the next Ortiz.

Arroyo on the other hand, has gone on to become one of the most reliable pitchers in the NL pitching over 200 innings each of his four years in a Reds uniform. In his first four years with the Reds, Arroyo has averaged a WAR of 3.2, which puts him between a solid starter and an All-Star-caliber player.

In the four years since that trade, Wily Mo has been traded again, released three times and hasn’t played in a major league game since he hit .205 in 195 ABs with the Nationals in 2008.

Now “One L’d Wily” is back.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have called up Pena from Triple-A and plan to DH him during interleague play. Pena was hitting a ridiculous .363/.439/.726 with 21 HRs in 271 plate appearances. His ISO was .363...

The key for Pena, or the real-life Pedro Cerrano, is going to be his ability to hit breaking pitches. Pena can hit a fastball any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But when it comes to breaking pitches, not so much.

Pena is 8.5 runs above average on fastballs for his career but a combined minus-18.3 on curves and sliders for his career. You can be rest assured Pena is going to see a steady diet of breaking balls during his time with the Diamondbacks.

Pena seems to have been around forever, but he is still only 29 years old.

He will get another chance with the Diamondbacks.

Maybe now he will fulfill the promise I predicted for him over five years ago.