Ever since the Milwaukee Brewers acquired Ariel Pena in 2012, I viewed him as a future late inning arm. With a power fastball and the potential to mow down hitters at the plate, I thought that he would have the capability to be a shutdown arm when games were on the line. While I still believe that his future in the organization is as a reliever, he has been more than impressive as a starter in Milwaukee thus far. Here is a look at how he built on his hot start again tonight.
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Pena faced the St. Louis Cardinals again for the second time in the past week and a half again he shined. He went five innings, striking out five batters, walking just one while allowing three earned runs. Though many struggle when seeing the same lineup in that short amount of time, Pena seemed unfazed.
Though he has appeared in just five games (four starts) Pena has had the look of a reliable major leaguer each time out. In 23 innings of work, he has struck out 21 batters while walking 12 and posting an ERA of 3.91. In a rotation full of rookies, he has opened some eyes for a shot at making next year’s roster on opening day.
This building of confidence for Pena should be vital heading into next season. While the team is stacked with starters and I don’t see him being a major cog in the rotation for the future, I still think that his arm can be a young, solid and reliable piece in he bullpen for the future. Pena has been more than impressive and it would be great to see that success carry over into next season too in the middle of the Brewers’ bullpen.