The Padres have not announced it yet, but word has spread that second baseman Carlos Asuaje will be joining the big league club tomorrow:
The Padres will call up Carlos Asuaje, as @Ken_Rosenthal said. A reliever, likely Jose Valdez, will be optioned.— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) May 22, 2017
In a vacuum, this move would be questionable since he’s only hitting .222/.335/.319 this season, and he’s been consistently “not very good” offensively all year. His ability to hit has never been in question, so it’s an anomalous year, but the real questions point back to the big league club. Yangervis Solarte has been playing second base just about every day, Ryan Schimpf and Cory Spangenberg have seen extended time there this year and last, Allen Cordoba can hold the job down, and the team just added utility infielder Chase d’Arnaud to the team, so there are a handful of guys already on the roster who can play Asuaje’s position as well or better... and they’ve all been hitting better than Asuaje as well.
Why promote a player who would slot in as the fifth or sixth man at his position on the depth chart? The only answer I could foresee is that a trade must be in the works. Solarte isn’t having a great season, but the extension he signed this offseason (2yrs/$7.5M, team options for 2019-20) makes him both controllable and affordable. Ryan Schimpf’s numbers are down from last year, but he’s showing that his approach is consistent and is capable of repetition, plus he’s looked pretty good at third base to demonstrate his positional flexibility. Could one of these guys be on the move?