Ramiro Pena has been optioned down to Triple-A to make room for Eric Hinske. Pena doesn’t project to ever be a great hitter necessarily, but he’s still young enough that regular ABs in the minors should help him. Interestingly, the Yankees plan on playing him in CF, despite his great fielding ability at SS, 3B, and 2B.
This kind of move would seem to be geared next season. If Pena can continue to develop as a hitter, even nominally, and play every critical defensive position extremely well, he’ll be a very valuable player coming off the bench, especially when you also figure in that he’s a good base runner. The Yankees in recent seasons have been desperate to construct rosters that are more flexible and this kind of move can help accomplish that.