By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer
Starting Game 2 for the 66ers in the Cal League playoffs is pitcher Ariel Pena. Singed as a 17 year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Pena is in his 5th year in the Angels organization.
This year has been a year of tremendous growth and progress for Ariel Pena. He pitched nearly 50% more innings, and saw his strikeouts jump up to 183 in 155.2 IP. In the Cal League, Pena finished second in the league for strikeouts with 180. He probably would have led the league in strikeouts (the league leader only had 184), but, in his last start for the year, he was given a brief promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake to make a spot start.
Back for the Cal League playoffs, Pena is up to the challenge of starting Game 2 on the road against the Lake Elsinore Storm. Known as a bit of jokester, he’s definitely one to keep things light when he’s not on the mound, but also one to keep the team in the game when he is on the mound.
Pena is working on improving his English. Since this is one of his first interviews, he asked for shortstop Jean Segura to help translate for him. However, he promised me that our next interview will be in English (although at times, I helped ask some questions to him in Spanish).
Click below to listen to our interview with Ariel Pena.