Cardinals catcher Brayan Pena attempted to join the United States Army Reserve, he announced Tuesday, but he will not be allowed to do so.
According to Mark Saxon of ESPN, Pena has been prohibited from joining the Army because of his MLB contract. He will complete Reserve training, however, and work as an ambassador for the troops this winter.
Pena, 34, has played in only three games so far this season for the Cardinals. He has spent much of the season in the minor leagues or on the disabled list.
A native of Cuba, Pena defected from the country when he was 16 years old. He wrote about his journey from Cuba to major-league player in an essay for The Players’ Tribune earlier this year.
In his career, Pena has played in 632 games, batting .259 with 23 home runs and 164 RBI.