The Padres made a move that really surprised me a few weeks ago, when they traded Ernesto Frieri to the Angels for second baseman Alexi Amarista and minor league pitcher Donn Roach. Frieri was the longest tenured player on the Padres organization, and the move also spelled the end of Orlando Hudson in a Padres uniform.
Amarista has great speed, and it looked as if he was going to get an extended look to win the Padres second base job for the remainder of 2012, and beyond. However, Amarista has seen his playing time reduced dramatically. In fact, Amarista has only started one of the last six games. As far as my research extends, Amarista is not battling injuries. The Padres have played Andy Parrino an awful lot at short, with Everth Cabrera manning second.
Meanwhile Frieri has turned a line over the last few weeks that I have only seen in MLB the Show: 11 innings, 0 hits, 2 walks, 23 strikeouts, and Ernie appears to be the Angels closer. That is right, kids, Ernie has not allowed a hit. Ernie never seemed to gain the trust of Bud Black, but since the trade, he has pitched like a Hall-of-Famer.
It is far too early to call the Padres the losers of this deal, but I am a bit perplexed with the lack of playing time Amarista has received lately. He has displayed good range, and game-changing speed. The lack of playing time for Amarista could mean a few things. The first would mean Logan Forsythe will be given an opportunity to play second, one he is eligible to return from the disabled list. Andy Parrino is not an everyday player in my opinion, and the Padres can slide Cabrera over to short. Secondly, it seems like Black does not want to give Amarista the playing time. Black was horrible in managing young players in 2011-often playing Alberto Gonzalez in favor of Forsythe.
My point is, the Amarista move was ultimately pointless. Forsythe should get a shot, when healthy, and Cabrera will likely play short, since the Padres have no organizational depth at short. The Padres gave up a solid power arm in Frieri, for a second baseman they do not want to play. Perhaps I am over-analyzing the move, as it is far too early to call it a loss for the Padres, but it is a head-scratcher, at best.