By Jon Peterlin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To put it simply, Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena had a rough 2010. While still hitting 28 homers for the Rays last year the left handed Pena only batted .196. Pena never claimed to be good at hitting for average though. He showed glimpses of coming around in 2007 hitting a career high .282, but since then hasn't disproven why he's a career .241 hitter at the plate. So why did the Cubs dish out 10 million dollars for a player whose strikeout percentage rival former Cub and notorious strikeout king Jose Hernandez's? Two names, Tyler Colvin and Jeff Baker. The two of them will be battling to decide who will be Pena's backup. I don't see this as a winning situation for anyone. Colvin hit decent for his first season in the big leagues showing glimpses of power with the bat, but his fielding in the outfield was an eyesore at times. Moving him to backup at first base would seem to be a pretty logical choice for the Cubs, if he had ever played there before. Jeff Baker brings 50 games of experience with him at first base and very comparable stats to Colvin offensively. He'll hit more for average than Colvin, but isn't even in the same ballpark when it comes to hitting for power. So the Cubs are faced with an easy decision in putting the former first rounder Carlos Pena at first base. The Cubs have to take this with caution though. Although Colvin and Baker's numbers aren't impressive, neither was Pena's last year. Pena swears he'll have it all fixed around and it won't be a problem, but if I'm Cubs manager Mike Quade I need to be watching Pena closely. He has the job and I hope making the switch from American League to the National is good for him, but after hitting under the Mendoza line last year the Cubs need to see results.
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