Say it ain’t so.
As expected, the Diamondbacks called up Brandon Allen and designated Juan Miranda for assignment Friday. They also made a second series of moves, activating Geoff Blum from the disabled list and designating The Man, The Legend, The Wily Mo Pena.
Pena goes despite hitting five homers in 46 at-bats for the Diamondbacks. Of course, those five homers came with just four other hits and a 19/0 K/BB ratio, giving him a ridiculous .196/.196/.522 line.
Still, one has to think that Pena showed enough to entice some American League team, right? His homers were lasers, and he hit an incredible .363/.439/.726 with 21 homers in 271 at-bats for Triple-A Reno before his callup.
Alas, the Diamondbacks simply didn’t see Pena as an outfielder and they didn’t see him making a real contribution while getting three or four at-bats per week as a pinch-hitter.
And they were probably right. But hopefully someone picks him up.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.