Pena, ready to work, joins White Sox
Right-hander offers another bridge to back end of 'pen
CHICAGO -- A previous strong suit for the White Sox became even stronger on Wednesday with the arrival of Tony Pena to the bullpen. Pena was acquired from Arizona on Tuesday for Minor League first baseman Brandon Allen.
"[General manager] Kenny [Williams] is optimistic this kid can help us, and hopefully we give him a chance pretty soon to see what he can bring to the table," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of the right-handed Pena, who arrived at U.S. Cellular Field prior to Wednesday's contest.
"I'm excited to be with a team that is competing and in the mix like this," said Pena, through interpreter and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. "I just want to contribute. My main goal coming in right now is to work hard."
Pena, 27, can't be a free agent until after 2012. Through 37 relief appearances for Arizona this season, Pena is 5-3 with a 4.24 ERA and one save. He led the team with eight holds and ranked second in games pitched. He has a 16-13 career mark with a 4.08 ERA, including 63 holds in 209 relief appearances.
Pena's addition means Guillen can use D.J. Carrasco for one inning instead of two in middle relief, or move up Octavio Dotel earlier in the game and still have Pena as a bridge to Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton and closer Bobby Jenks. Pena already spent time Wednesday talking with Dotel about how the White Sox bullpen works and beginning his learning process concerning the American League hitters.
This unit, which ranks fourth in the AL with a 3.85 ERA, should work a little bit more fluidly with Pena's presence.
"We need an arm we can count on and to hold those guys for the seventh, eighth and ninth," Guillen said. "We set up from the sevent to the ninth.
"Most of the time, I've got to use a guy for more than one inning or overuse him because I don't have the right men to cover up those innings, and that's the reason we [brought] him here."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.