The San Diego Padres are bringing Carlos Asuaje back to the major league roster.
Per MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, the San Diego Padres will call up utility man Carlos Asuaje, before Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. To make room for Asuaje, outfielder Matt Szczur will be designated for assignment.
Asuaje has been with the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas for much of the season, trying to find the swing that made him a major league contributor in 2017. In 89 games, Asuaje slashed .270/.334/.362, resulting in a 0.7 WAR. The hope was that he would continue to build on those numbers as the starting second baseman for the Padres in 2018.
Unfortunately, Asuaje’s start to 2018 was, like most of the players on this year’s roster, subpar. He has 121 plate appearances at the major league level, hitting .193 with a dismal .256 on-base percentage. While his strikeout rate decreased and his contact rate increased (compared to 2017), Asuaje struggled to get the ball out of the infield.
Since his demotion, Asuaje is hitting .338 with a .408 OBP and a 137 wRC+. His strikeout rate is one of the lowest of his career (13.4%) and he’s finding the gaps again, recording seven doubles and five triples.
Asuaje’s role with the San Diego Padres.
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It was only a matter of time before Matt Szczur was given his DFA slip. Touted as a solid late-game option who can work at-bats, Szczur was posting a .265 OBP and a strikeout rate of nearly 30%, going into Sunday’s game against the Pirates.
Can Asuaje show the team he has made the necessary adjustments at the plate with the occasional pinch-hit appearance, highly doubtful.
If the Padres want Asuaje at the major league level and want to give him one more chance to show what he has, they need to put Jose Pirela on the bench, or send him on his way. Unfortunately, Padres fans know exactly how this is going to play out. Pirela will remain at second and Asuaje will take away playing time from Spangenberg, who is coming off a solid month of June.
Look for the move to be made official by the San Diego Padres later this afternoon, before the team takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates in their series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm with Tyson Ross on the hill.