After that trade for another quadruple-A middle infielder earlier in the week, I thought for sure Josh Byrnes was getting ready to plug one of the Padres' gaping holes. But I vastly underestimated Byrnes' admiration for washed-up shortstops hitting less than .150.
And we continue to be stuck with Jason Bartlett.The Padres have so many holes in their roster that perhaps replacing a shortstop who is hitting .149 just isn't even among a general manager's top 10 priorities (trading for another weak-hitting second baseman with poor base-running skills, however, is somehow a top priority).
When we gave up a solid major league reliever (early in a season in which there is so much demand for relief) for someone named Alexi Amarista, I figured it was a precursor to recalling Everth Cabrera.
But the shortstop who was a sensation three years ago as a Rule 5 pick still remains a phone call away in Tucson. He also continues to impress. He started the season with an injury, rested for several days, then came back with an oh-for-5 showing on April 13. Since then, he has been on a 30-for-84 tear (.357), bringing his average up from .167 to .320. He has also scored 15 runs in the stretch and stolen 13 bases. He has yet to be caught stealing. Oh, and since that April 13 oh-fer, he has hit safely in 18 of 21 games. He currently has a nine-game hitting streak going.
I know the argument against bringing him up. He's young (not really; he's 25), and still developing. Again, not really, he has almost 600 major league at-bats. The truth is, he has plenty of seasoning, and now he seems to have the confidence he lost after his 2009 rookie season.
It's time to give him the call. And it's way past time to say goodbye to Jason Bartlett.