Amarista adjusting to new role with Padres

Amarista adjusting to new role with Padres

Amarista adjusting to new role with Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Second baseman Alexi Amarista's recent promotion from Triple-A Tucson has been made easier by the fact that the Padres also promoted the guy who he was playing alongside, shortstop Everth Cabrera.

"It's been good. The fact we've only been playing a short time together, we communicate well, we have been playing good defense," Amarista said through a translator. "When I'm at short and he's at second or he's at short and I am at second."

These two could be paired together for a while, with Cabrera at shortstop and Amarista at second base, especially since the team has parted with second baseman Orlando Hudson and shortstop Jason Bartlett is on the 15-day disabled list.

It's certainly been an interesting month for Amarista, who was traded to the Padres along with pitcher Donn Roach on May 3 for reliever Ernesto Frieri.

"I was just surprised, to tell the truth. I wasn't expecting anything. I just got to the park and the manager called me in his office," Amarista said of the trade.

Amarista has one hit in his first six at-bats with the Padres, with one RBI, heading into Saturday's game against the Angels at Petco Park. He hit .286 in 11 games with Tucson after the trade. Amarista had a .273 average in 18 games with Salt Lake before the trade.

Amarista and Cabrera were in the starting lineup Saturday against the Angels, at second base and shortstop, respectively.

"I want to make contact as a hitter, be able to move the runners, bunt when I need to bunt, just stay on top of that," Amarista said.

San Diego manager Bud Black called his former boss, Angels manager Mike Scioscia, for some intel on Amarista and liked what he heard.

"The first thing he said was this guy can play six positions, he can feel comfortable with them anywhere, he swings the bat and he has some speed, so that versatility plays much better in the National League," Black said.

"We're going to do some things with him. Right now, we have Cabrera, Amarista and [Andy] Parrino, so he'll get his playing time. He's going to play a lot."