Amarista's versatility a 'great advantage' for Padres

Amarista's versatility a 'great advantage' for Padres

LOS ANGELES -- In the two months since he was recalled from Triple-A Tucson, Alexi Amarista has played second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions for the Padres.

Don't expect that to change in the second half as the Padres continue to take a long look at Amarista, the mighty mite who was obtained from the Angels in the Ernesto Frieri deal on May 3.

"I think with Alexi, that's a great advantage for us ... his versatility and us feeling comfortable with him anywhere in the diamond," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We've got trust in him as an outfielder, trust in him as an infielder. He gives us maneuverability every day to do things, whether it's a double-switch or pinch-hit and stay in the game.

"We feel comfortable with him in any spot. Because of what we've seen, he's a very good defender."

And Amarista can swing the bat a little, too. He wasn't in the starting lineup on Sunday but is hitting .276 in 43 games since the trade with four home runs and 18 RBIs. Thirteen of his 32 hits for the Padres have gone for extra bases.

And, as Black said, he's not tentative about moving around the diamond like some other players might be.

"A lot of guys are a little tentative if they move out of their comfort zone," Black said. "But he's not. He wants to play regardless of what position."