The Tacoma Rainiers just got a little more entertaining, especially during practice. Just a little while ago, the Mariners announced that they had signed slugging outfielder/designated hitter Wily Mo Pena to a minor league contract.
Pena was available after being designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondback on July 15. Before that he was with Triple A Reno. Pena is scheduled to report to the Mariners minor league complex in Peoria, AZ, and will join the Rainiers in the coming days.
Not familiar with Pena? Well, he's a 6-3, 240 pounds of muscle and power and strikeouts swinging from the right side. He hits prodigious home runs and he also strikes out ... a lot.
In 17 games with the Diamondbacks this year, he hit .196 (9x46) with 5 home runs and 7 RBI and 19 strikeouts. Before that with Reno, he put up ridiculous numbers. In 63 games, he was hitting .363 (86-for-237) with 21 homers and 63 RBI. He had a .439 on-base percentage and a .726 slugging percentage. Those are Playstation numbers right there.
Pena has plenty of big league experience.
Over parts of 8 Major League seasons with the Reds, Red Sox, Nationals and Diamondbacks, Pena owns a .251 batting average (411-for-1636) with 203 runs, 67 doubles, 5 triples, 82 home runs and 232 RBI and 539 strikeouts in 577 games. He has also hit 104 career minor league home runs.
Is he part of the Mariners future? No. Will he make the big league team? Possibly. Jack Cust's time with the Mariners is coming to an end sooner rather than later. And bringing up Pena can't hurt. It certainly might be entertaining.
If you get a chance, go watch him take batting practice at Cheney Stadium. You won't be disappointed.