Results tagged ‘ Jr. ’
Tony Pena Jr…the pitcher
Royals shortstop Tony Pena Jr. is in the process of attempting to become a Major League pitcher. He is working with pitching coach Bob McClure to see if this conversion to pitcher is a realistic possibility. “I have a sense he is in to it, I asked him and he said he is all for it. I think he is young enough that if this does not work out, he still has the years to work on his primary position and work on becoming a better baseball player,” said Manager Trey Hillman. “He has three pitches at the moment, a fastball, a slurve (slider/curveball), and a slight change-up. Tony is going to be going through some bullpen sessions coming up and we are looking for him to get some action down in Arizona in the near future.”
Royals pitcher Kyle Farnsworth had another promising bullpen session yesterday and is heading to Triple-A Affiliate Omaha to get some innings under him. He will be pitching (1.0 IP) on Tuesday, resting on Wednesday, and is yet to be determined how much he will be used on Thursday. Gil Meche threw another bullpen session yesterday, apparently it went fine, but he will be continuing his bullpen sessions when the team heads to Baltimore. A timetable for Gil has not been established as of yet.
Today, the Royals place right-handed pitcher Sidney Ponson on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 30 with a right elbow strain. Closer Joakim Soria and shortstop Tony Pena, Jr. were activated from the disabled list and will be available for tonight’s game at Tampa Bay.
In other news, the Royals have signed Tim Raines, Jr. to a minor league contract. The 29-year old Raines batted .311 with 18 home runs and 78 RBI for Tucson in the PCL last season. He played for Baltimore in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Tim Jr. played alongside his dad, seven-time All-Star Tim Sr., in 2001 for the Orioles. The younger Raines has been assigned to Triple-A Omaha.
Several Royals players are staying warm this winter in the Caribbean. The goal isn’t just to stay out of this current snowstorm that’s hitting Kansas City…these Royals are staying sharp by playing winter league baseball.
Last night, Royals catcher Brayan Pena belted three home runs for Cibao in the Dominican Republic. That’s half of his 2008 total with the Omaha Royals. Pena has 18 career minor league home runs in 2,003 at-bats and two Major League home runs in 127 at-bats with the Braves. He is batting .346 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI in 34 winter contests. Pena, claimed off waivers from the Braves on May 30, is currently on the Royals 40-man roster.
A few other notes from the Caribbean:
* Esteban German is third in the Dominican Winter League with a .355 average.
* Tony Pena, Jr. is batting .294 with a .373 on-base percentage for Cibaenas in the Dominican.
* Robinson Tejeda, teaming with German on Azucareros del Este, has 25 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.
* Minor leaguer Dusty Hughes is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA over 34.0 IP for Escogido in the Dominican.
* Mike Aviles is batting .302 with Santurce in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Mike’s club is managed by his uncle, Ramon Aviles, who played in the Majors in 1977 and 1979-81 with Boston and Philadelphia.
Photo credit: Gregory Bull/AP