The Detroit Tigers continued to seed the upper level of the minors leagues with veteran major leaguers on Monday. Chris Cotillo reported that the team has signed catcher Brayan Pena to a minor league contract. Pena played for the Tigers during the 2013 season and managed to have several memorable moments as Alex Avila’s backup.
Pena has played parts of 12 major league seasons, though rarely as a starting catcher. He spent the past two years in the Cardinals’ and Royals’ organizations, almost exclusively in the minor leagues. He should be a solid mentor for the Mud Hens, and a bit of depth for the Tigers. But while it’s unlikely we’ll see much, if any, of him in Detroit this season, it’s more important that we now have reason to revisit some of Pena’s greatest hits.
You remember the time Brayan Pena’s very soul giggled with delight when a Nick Swisher nubber rolled fair.
There was also the Fig Newton incident.
Welcome back to Detroit, Brayan Pena. #Tigers pic.twitter.com/vmDw7JPMYK— Griffin Fabits (@fabits_griffin) January 8, 2018
But the most unforgettable moment of Pena’s brief tour with the Tigers was this one.
The 2013 Detroit Tigers had were a force to be reckoned with, and this was a big play in setting the tone in April. Hanging onto a game winning throw during a collision with a large mammal like Justin Smoak is the kind of play that can impact a team beyond a mark in the win column.
Generally Pena was as well liked a role player as the Tigers had during their four year rule over the AL Central. Practically team mascot levels of good vibes. And apparently he has a nasty eephus pitch now. We’re happy to have him back.
Happy Birthday to Storm Chasers catcher (and sometimes pitcher) Brayan Peña (@cuban2727)! pic.twitter.com/rKMuBhlfZD— Omaha St❄️rm Chasers (@OMAStormChasers) January 7, 2018