Because you can never have enough challenges as a MLB general manager, it seems as if Dayton Moore and the brain surgeons in Kansas City are going to solve two problems with one move: making Tony Peña Jr. evolve from a horrible hitter into a mediocre pitcher.
Manager Trey Hillman said Peña, who recently cleared waivers, threw a bullpen session under the watchful eye of pitching coach Bob McClure on Friday and will soon report to Surprise, Ariz., to work on becoming a pitcher.
"We're looking at converting him," said Hillman, who added that he sees Peña as a possible reliever.
Peña, 28, wouldn't discuss the move -- "I'm just here to work out," he said before Sunday's game -- but Hillman said Peña is on board with the decision.
"He's all for it right now, to at least take a look at it and see where it goes," Hillman said.
Peña has been good with the glove during his reign as Royals shortstop but absolutely horrible with the bat. But hey, he did take to the mound for mop-up duty last season and pitch a 1-2-3 inning, so he's automatically a better set-up guy than Kyle Farnsworth or Ron Mahay.
How bad is Tony Peña Jr at the dish? His OPS+ over the last three years have gone from a bad 66 in 2007 to an awful 7 last year to an "I can't believe it was even possible to have a negative OPS+" -32 this season. Remember, the average OPS+ is 100. If Tony Peña was a carpenter, your house would disintegrate after the first gust of wind. If Tony Peña was a software engineer, your laptop would attempt to divide by zero and give rise to a worldwide nuclear holocaust. If Tony Peña was a dog breeder, the entire Canis genus would disappear from the planet. If Tony Peña was a metaphor, I'd have beaten it to death three sentences ago.