Our backup catcher has 34 plate appearances in 2010. Although he's spent an entire season with the team, this is the smallest number of any position player on the current roster.
34 plate appearances is just... nothing. Even Alex Gordon got 38 plate appearances. Dick Ankiel was given 69 PAs before he disappeared. Wilson Betemit has seemingly just arrived and he's gone to the plate 53 times. Guys who aren't even regular or entirely healthy players have PA totals in the hundreds, like Getz, who has 123 PAs.
We've talked about Kendall's constant playing time at catcher a few times, but this is the first time I've looked at Pena's numbers from the offensive side. Last season the Royals were so interested in Pena's bat that they DHed him a few times and he was a fairly frequent pinch-hitter late in games. Perhaps that was a Hillman thing, because he simply is never playing now. Pena had an astounding 13 PAs in June. 13!
This isn't meant to be an anti-Kendall post. I consider that topic to be pretty much covered. The Royals have their crazy Kendall love, and it's misguided and counter-productive and just silly. The Pena side of it is in some ways more remarkable. You just don't see a guy get carried on a team for this long, playing this little. And the amazing thing is, nothing about Pena has changed. He hit enough to be interesting in 2009, and he's done so in his monthly starts this year. 2010, however, is the year of STABILITY, (some) guys play every day.