Matt Stairs Activated, Aaron Cunningham Demoted

In a head-scratching move, the Padres have activated reserve outfielder Matt Stairs from the disabled list and optioned young outfielder Aaron Cunningham to Triple-A Portland.

Can somebody explain why Stairs is on the roster? He’s hitting well under .200, has just one home run, provides no defensive value, has struck out 22 times in just 49 ABs, and has seen his K/BB disintegrate from 30/23 last year to 22/5 this year.

And we’re rushing him back onto the roster at the expense of Cunningham, who can actually defend?

It’s one thing to give Stairs some rehab time, see if he can at least hack it against minor league pitching, and then bring him up after three or four weeks if he hits well and Cunningham or someone else is in a slump in the majors.

Cunningham hit .290/.313/.452 with the Padres, although he had 9 K and just one walk. He launched one homer and two doubles in 13 games.

Sure, you want Cunningham to get everyday at-bats, but if that’s so important, why not leave him in Triple-A in the first place and bring Mike Baxter up? Plus, it shouldn’t be hard to give him decent playing time in this outfield.

I just don’t get the infatuation with Stairs, and I don’t see why Cunningham (and not, say, Oscar Salazar) is the odd man out here, even with Stairs back.

Tags: Aaron Cunningham Matt Stairs Portland Beavers San Diego Padres

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