Friday, August 18, 2006
Theo Epstein, Meet Wily Mo Pena of the Red Sox
Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein's acquisition of lefty IF/OF Eric Hinske from Toronto comes at a peculiar time if Hinske is expected to platoon with righty OF Wily Mo Pena. Pena, the 24-year-old potential phenom who needs to play every day if he is ever to reach his full potential, has been nothing short of sensational since given a shot at full-time play three weeks ago due to the disablement of his platoon mate, veteran lefty OF Trot Nixon. Maybe Epstein missed it, but in 18 games since Nixon went down, all Pena has done against both righty and lefty pitching is hit five homers, two triples and three doubles with 13 runs scored while going 20-65, a .308 average. The sample is small, admittedly, but if Pena hasn't earned a shot at full-time play yet, then when? Pena's season's average against righties in limited appearances tops .370. Hopefully for Pena, Hinske's outfield starts will come against only certain righties.