Signed to a minor-league contract by the Rangers last week, veteran first baseman Carlos Pena is back in the majors as part of Texas’ never-ending need for injury reinforcements.
Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland are both out for the season, so Pena will get a chance to take over at first base. He can still draw walks in bunches and has solid power, but Pena is 36 years old and has hit just .201 with a .678 OPS in 249 games since the beginning of 2012. He hasn’t cracked a .230 batting average since way back in 2008.
He’ll replace 32-year-old career minor leaguer Brad Snyder, who didn’t get much of an opportunity after putting up big numbers at Triple-A. Snyder heads back to the minors with a .167 batting average in 10 games.
The blows keep coming for the battered Rangers.
According to beat writer Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, first baseman and DH Mitch Moreland informed the club on Tuesday evening that he will undergo reconstructive surgery on his left ankle and miss the remainder of the 2014 season.
Moreland had been hoping to avoid the procedure, but his rehab was not going according to plan.
The 28-year-old was hitting .246/.297/.347 with two home runs and 23 RBI in 52 games before injuring his ankle in early June. Brad Snyder has taken over at first base for the Rangers, who are also without Prince Fielder (neck) the rest of the way in 2014.
In their never-ending quest to find depth in a season filled with injuries, the Rangers have signed veteran first baseman Carlos Pena to a minor-league contract.
Pena hit just .207 with eight homers and a .668 OPS in 89 games for the Astros (and very briefly the Royals) last season and then got released by the Angels during spring training this year. At age 36 he looks just about done, posting a combined .678 OPS in 249 games since 2012–but if nothing else Pena can still draw plenty of walks and smack some homers.
For now he’ll go to Triple-A and try to convince the Rangers he still has something left in the tank. Texas has already lost Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland, so it’s a good opportunity for Pena.