Gold Glove Finally in Pena’s Hand
Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays has always had a knack for being as good defensively as he was with his bat. In recent years he has improved both at the plate and at first base. Finally during the Rays golden season, Carlos Pena has been awarded the Gold Glove at First Base for 2008.
This season the Rays surrendered less runs than ever before in their exsistance. And at the head of all that was the improved defense in the infield for the Rays. But the defense was anchored by the increased play of Pena at first base in his attempts to snag, block or even leap to get any ball thrown within his reach.
In winning the award, he became the first Rays player in history to win a Gold Glove. Last season he was the first Ray to ever win the Comeback Player of the Year award from Major League Baseball. But this award is icing on the Ray’s first baseman’s cake after a playoff run and the first winning season in franchise history.
Pena posted a .998 fielding percentage this season for the Rays and only committed 2 errors all year. One of those errors was a throwing error trying to set up a double play late in the season and he overthrew Jason Bartlett at second base.
The Rays went from last in th majors last season with 944 run allowed to a total of only 664 runs allowed in 2008. That was good enough to rank 3rd in the majors for the 2008 season. the teams’ Fielding Percentage also rose from .980, which was ranked 27th in the majors last season, to .985 to improve only .05 percent, but tied for 8th in the league in 2008.