The San Francisco Giants catcher carousel continues to spin, with another outside addition made on Thursday when veteran Francisco Pena was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals.
With the promotion of veteran catcher Stephen Vogt to the MLB roster on Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants suddenly had a hole on the Triple-A roster.
They wasted little time filling it.
Pena, 29, served as the primary backup to Yadier Molina last year in his first season with the Cardinals.
He hit .203/.239/.271 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 142 plate appearances.
Prior to that, he spent time with the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles, though last season was the most significant playing time he has seen at the MLB level.
When veteran Matt Wieters was signed to a minor league deal near the end of spring training, Pena was pushed down the depth chart and eventually sent to Triple-A.
He’s off to a nice start with a .333/.429/.611 line that includes two doubles and one home run in 21 plate appearances. However, with top prospect Andrew Knizner seeing the bulk of the action behind the plate for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, Pena was an expendable piece.
His offensive numbers might not jump off the page, but Pena has solid catch-and-throw skills. He’s gunned down 32 percent of base-stealers over the course of his minor league career, and he’s 6-for-26 at the MLB level.
While this is nothing more than a depth move, it’s not completely insignificant.
Pena will be entrusted with helping to develop some of the team’s young arms down in Triple-A, including MLB.com’s No. 4 Giants prospect Shaun Anderson.
Of course, the Giants also have prospect Aramis Garcia handling some of the catching duties for Triple-A Sacramento, so Pena likely will not see regular playing time.
These kinds of trades don’t move the needle much, but they’re a necessary part of any MLB season.