Padres Editorial: With Spangy Out, It’s Time to Call Up Carlos Asuaje

Credit: El Paso Times
Credit: El Paso Times

News broke Friday afternoon that Cory Spangenberg had another setback in his attempt to come back from a leg injury. The starting second baseman to begin the season has failed to suit up for the past two months and it appears he will not be back anytime soon. A torn quad is not an easy thing to return from, especially if you rely on speed for your game. A very tough break for the young infielder.

With Spangenberg down it appears the team will continue to use a combination of Adam Rosales and Ryan Schimpf at second base for the moment. Schimpf is a journeyman infielder with power, but his upside is certainly limited. Rosales is the basically same thing as Schimpf except with more major league experience and a right handed bat. Clearly neither is a long-term option for the team.

There is an option for the team and I believe it is time to consider him. Carlos Asuaje has been tearing it up in El Paso and the left-handed hitter should be given an opportunity to showcase his skills at the major league level. After all, the Padres are certainly not competing, so why not let a youngster get the bulk of the playing time? Why not evaluate a player that could be an answer long-term?

This season for the Chihuahuas the left-handed hitting infielder has a slash line of .326/.385/.465. The PCL League is a hitters league and his home field in El Paso is certainly friendly to those swinging a bat. However you cannot discount his plate discipline. In his 331 at bats in Triple-A, he has walked 33 times opposed to striking out 47 times. Asuaje puts the ball in play and generally does it with much success. The Padres could use a line-drive hitter like that in their lineup.

I can understand the team not wanting to start the clock on his service time just yet. He has yet to play in the major leagues and the Padres are certainly in no hurry to rush him. Still, at this point he could be getting at bats against major league caliber pitchers. With those at bats he could be gaining experience and at the same time Padres management as well as Andy Green would have the opportunity to see him perform. Every little bit counts when determining a player’s ability.

Constant at bats to Schimpf, Rosales and Alexi Amarista does nothing for the future of this Padres team. Asuaje made the triple-A All-Star team as his talents are beginning to be recognized around baseball. He does the little things when playing the game and is a ball player in every sense of the word. He was also recognized by the league this past week by being invited to participate in the Future’s Game at the All-Star Game. His stock has clearly risen and with that this young man deserves a chance at an everyday role.

When the Padres acquired Asuaje with Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra and Logan Allen for Craig Kimbrel, the team knew that Asuaje was the closest of them to being major league ready. A.J. Preller even made that comment himself. Margot is close to being major league ready as well, but Asuaje has pretty much done all he can do at the minor league level. He owns a career batting line of .289/.369/.445 in over 1,400 at bats. Those are very respectable numbers for a middle infielder.

Asuaje has the ability to play third base and left field and was previously labeled as a future utility man. At the age of 24, his future is certainly not set in stone so he could easily blossom into something more than a role player. His bat will ultimately prevent him from being a serviceable third baseman or left fielder at the major league level. He just isn’t going to hit a lot of home runs. He has a line drive approach that is perfect for Petco Park and could slash a ton of extra base hits in the gaps at Petco. The Padres should take a look at this young man. He needs to play everyday and Andy Green needs to get an idea of what he can do. If Padres fans can’t have Spangy, the give them Asuaje.

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