Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect Ariel Pena threw seven innings last night for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, giving up seven hits and three walks for four runs, fanning seven. This one start represents his season in microcosm: he's made 21 starts with a 4.41 ERA in 116 innings, allowing 86 hits with a 123/66 K/BB ratio.
You may remember Pena from his rough outing in the 2012 Futures Game. Acquired from the Angels in the Zack Greinke trade that summer, he is a 6-3, 240 pound right-hander born May 20, 1989. He has been clocked as high as 98 MPH and works consistently in the 93-95 range. He has a slider and a change-up, but both secondary pitches are erratic. Even the fastball gets hittable when it flattens out too high in the strike zone, although he's done a better job of avoiding that this year. He's maintaining a strong strikeout rate but his walk rate remains rather high.
The Brewers have used him as a starter and he's held up just fine to the workload, but ultimately the bullpen may be his destination. Keep a close eye on his K/BB ratio in any role. If you see an improvement, he could be breaking through.