Carlos Pena’s 2012 season with the Rays started off as a great homecoming, as the fans’ welcomed him back with open arms and Pena got off to a hot start. While the Rays were in need of a first baseman when they signed him, Pena’s .197 average and 182 strikeouts for the season were not enough for the Rays to re-sign him in 2013. Instead, the Houston Astros signed the first baseman, but Pena and the Astros continued to slump offensively at the start of this season.
Recently, Pena has been on a hot streak, hitting .300 and going 12-for-40 with three homeruns in the 11 games before Thursday night’s game. Pena and the Astros lost to the Baltimore Orioles last night in the final game of the series, as Pena went 0-for-4. However, Pena is hitting .237 for the season with 6 homeruns and 18 RBIs in 59 games, splitting his time between first base and designated hitter.
Although Pena still does not look like the hot hitter that bolstered the Rays’ offense in 2007 and 2008, it is nice to see Pena helping out the struggling Astros, who are worst in the American League with a 22-39 record.
Tonight, Pena and the Astros face his former Rays teammate, James Shields, and the Kansas City Royals. Best of luck to both of those Rays fan favorites in tonight’s matchup.