I like him a lot, but this is the wrong team for him — Pena would be better off on the Cardinals, where LaRussa has used backup catchers with similar skills. Pena hits for average, runs well for a catcher, but doesn’t have a lot of power and really can’t throw. As I’ve written before, he really doesn’t fit into the modern game that well, because he’s really suited to be a bench player, not a backup catcher — he should be coming off the bench to pinch-hit, or to run late for your starting catcher, not to play nine innings every fifth day.
Pena came up for the first time in 2005 but didn’t play well. Last year he got called up in May even though he was hitting .226/.280/.287 in Richmond (apparently he had been experimenting with switch-hitting with no success) because McCann was hurt and Pena was the only minor league catcher on the 40-man. Pena played pretty well backing up Pratt and in a late-season callup, and also played outstandingly in Richmond in the second half, ending the season with a .302/.342/.372 line, very close to his career standards.
Pena doesn’t walk much but doesn’t strike out much either (less than ten percent of the time). He has more career minor league triples (10) than homers (9) but is a sub-.500 basestealer for his career. Sunday is listed as his 25th birthday, but your guess is as good as mine if that’s for real.