"I still believe he's expanding his strike zone too much, and we talked about that. We also talked about the fact he has a tendency to beat himself up," said Maddon, who noted that they talked about non-baseball subjects as well.
Maddon noted that he's trying to get Pena's mind off the numbers the first baseman sees on the scoreboard every time he steps to the plate.
"[Without] the defenses playing the way that they play today and the way things work, [against] a conventional defense, [Pena would be] hitting over .200 right now," Maddon said. "I understand he has not played up to his expectations, nor ours, to this point, but there are a lot of compounding moments here, a lot of negative complementary things here that are in place."
Maddon recalled seeing Mo Vaughn go through a similar experience when he played for the Angels and defenses began to shift against him.
"All of a sudden, he's hitting against this shift, and it gets into your head a little bit," Maddon said. "And thus you can draw some wrong conclusions, is my point."
Maddon went through several other theories before he cut to the chase about Pena: "His confidence has taken a hit based on a lot of well-struck balls being outs. That's the best way I can describe it. But that's just the way it is for a lot of lefties in the game today who are of that ilk."