Welcome back after a depressing layoff of everyone's favorite segment, Former Nats Greats! We have big things planned for the last 8 weeks of the season, including the first ever interview with a Former Nats Great - a Capitol Baseball exclusive (make your guesses on who it could be in the comments section). Today's edition however focuses on a power hitter who became known for his prodigious blasts and wicked high strikeout totals - another JimBo "Five-Tool Player".
Today's honoree is none other than the Weapon of Mass Production.
Wily Mo Pena!
Wily Mo Pena made his arrival in DC on August 17th, 2007, coming from the Boston Red Sox, via a three-team trade that focused had Washington send Emiliano Fruto to Arizona, who sent Chris Carter to Boston.
In that last month and a half of the season the Weapon played in 37 games, mostly in Left, and hit 8 home runs in just 137 ABs, with a .293 AVG and a .503 Slug% - racking up a 0.7 WAR in those 37 games. It seemed as though the Nats had found a slugging left-fielder for the future. Though as tends to happen with these featured players, things wouldn't last.
The Nats, lead by Trader Jim, decided to award Pena with a $2 Million 1-year contract for the 2008 season. Wily Mo lasted just 67 games into the season before a shoulder issue *coughNOTcough* sidelined him for the rest of the year. He hit just .203 with 2 Homers in 195 ABs - he had a .243 OBP and a .509 OPS. Wily Mo Pena 2008 = Matt Stairs 2011.
As with a lot of the JimBo "athlete" moves, this one failed miserably - at least this one didn't cost anything but Emilano Fruto who has made 0 big league appearances since the trade.
We thank Wily Mo for becoming the Weapon of Minimal Production. I will never forget your first home run as a National - a 445 foot blast into the 2nd deck at RFK stadium against Orlando Hernandez.
Share your WMP memories in the comments section.