Carlos Pena was a key part of the Rays hot start to the season. At a time when the team is missing key bats due to injury, the team is missing Pena's bat to ineffectiveness.
Carlos Pena limped through the Grapefruit League season and there was some worry within the Tampa Bay market that Pena going to be another big (for this market) contract signing gone awry. Joe Maddon was quick to defend Pena saying he liked where Pena's swing was at despite the numbers and those reviews were quickly verified on opening day when Pena hit a grand slam off CC Sabathia in his first plate appearance and also got the game-winning hit off Mariano Rivera.
A look at how Carlos Pena and Luke Scott compare to those they're replacing in Tampa Bay, Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman
“Team identity” is a sugar pill of analytics. It sounds good but means nothing. When a team makes sweeping changes, said identity comes into question. Usually, the vague term is applied to an overall philosophy—is this team all pitching and defense, or do they live and die by the three-run home run sort of stuff. It can also apply to the complexion of the roster and the minutiae that comes with.
Over the past fortnight, the Rays have changed their team identity in at least one way. By adding Luke Scott and Carlos Pena, they have ensured new opening day starters at the positions furthest to the right on the defensive spectrum. The Rays have also tweaked the playing style at those positions. Neither Johnny Damon nor Casey Kotchman, the predecessors at the positions, offered a lot of power, but making a lot of contact can breed fanfare—to the point where many, Damon included, were disappointed to find the Rays pursuing upgrades at the positions.
Everyone is talking about the Prince, but where will Carlos Pena land this offseason?
Carlos Pena is well on his way to being baseball’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” man. Heading into his age-34 season, Pena has been with Texas, Oakland, Detroit, Boston, Tampa Bay, and Chicago, and he is likely to add a seventh organization to that list by the end of the offseason. For comparison, Matt Stairs had only worn five different big-league uniforms at the same age.
Pena’s next home remains a mystery, though; he continues to play second fiddle to Prince Fielder among free-agent first basemen. One of the league’s few consistent power threats, Pena has cranked at least 28 home runs in each of the last five seasons, but he has also struck out at least 142 times annually during that span.
Don't bet on a rebound fantasy season from the Cubs new first baseman.
Slugging first baseman Carlos Pena hopes a move to Wrigleyville will rejuvenate his career, not unlike the move to Tampa saw him provide the Rays and fantasy players with a breakout year in 2007. That was the best season of Pena’s career, where he hit .282 with 46 home runs, 99 runs and 121 RBI - all four stats were career bests. That was some pure fantasy gold from someone who wasn’t even supposed to make the Opening Day roster for the Rays.
As in the AL, the Central division is as tight as can be, while in the East two Mets are predicted to take home some hardware along with their division flag.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the National League, along with the staff picks in some fun miscellaneous categories.
Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.