Infield cavalry Asuaje, d'Arnaud join Padres

No. 9 prospect may have short tenure in bigs; waiver claim fills vacated utility role

May 23rd, 2017

NEW YORK -- Infield reinforcements arrived for the Padres at Citi Field on Tuesday, as both and joined the big league club.

d'Arnaud, who was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox on Sunday, and Asuaje, who was recalled from Triple-A El Paso, each received a pinch-hit at-bat in the Padres' 9-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field. d'Arnaud struck out in the fifth inning, and Asuaje bounced to second in the seventh.

d'Arnaud has received only sporadic playing time this season with both Atlanta and Boston. He has four hits and a pair of walks in 11 plate appearances and hasn't seen game action since May 9. With the Padres, he will serve in a utility role, backing up at shortstop while playing around the diamond as needed.

"Over the last three or four years, I've played multiple positions," said d'Arnaud, who grew up in Los Alamitos, Calif. "I came up playing shortstop, I love playing center field too, and the corners. It's a National League team, so I know I'll get chances to come in, double-switching, coming in the game, a spot start here and there."

That's precisely how Andy Green plans to use d'Arnaud. The Padres skipper noted that d'Arnaud will essentially fill the role of , who was designated for assignment on Sunday.

"He's a good athlete, capable of running, capable of playing all over the field," Green said. "Sardinas was capable of playing all over. Chase probably brings more raw foot speed, more range in the infield."

Asuaje, meanwhile, was called mainly as a bat off the bench. Initially, the club had planned to activate catcher , who pulled his right quadriceps muscle in a rehab game for El Paso on Sunday. Sanchez had fully recovered from a bone bruise in his right foot, but has been set back indefinitely.

Asuaje's time with the Padres might be limited. He could be optioned as soon as Thursday, when the Padres will call up No. 10 prospect Dinelson Lamet to start against the Mets.

The 25-year-old infielder, who checks in just ahead of Lamet as the Padres' No. 9 prospect, has struggled a bit for Triple-A El Paso this season. He's batting just .222 -- though he's reaching base at a .335 clip.

There's a bit of a logjam at second and third base, with , , and potentially d'Arnaud ahead of Asuaje.

"I don't know that, in the next few days, there's a ton of starts out there for him," Green said. "But we're coming off an off-day with nine relievers in the 'pen. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. So to get a fifth bat off the bench gives us an opportunity to pinch-hit early in a game if we want to. We can get a matchup if we want it."

It will be Asuaje's second stint in the Majors. He received a September callup last season after helping lead El Paso to the Pacific Coast League Championship.

So what did he learn from his first taste of the big leagues?

"More than anything, it's just about being confident up here, not seeing it as something that's overwhelming or otherworldly," Asuaje said. "It's baseball as usual. It might be a higher level, but you've still got to play fundamentally sound and do your job."