Alexi Amarista posted career highs in average and OBP last season, but that's not saying much. His defensive versatility landed him a job with the Rockies this winter as a utility man, but even with the favorable landing spot, there's still very little to get excited about. Nothing in his profile suggests he will ever provide more than a modicum of speed (he's 38-for-48 in his career as a basestealer over 605 MLB games). Moreover, he's struggled against lefties, posting a paltry .510 OPS in 299 career plate appearances against southpaws. His limited appeal in 2016 was in the fact that NL-only players could slot him as a shortstop, but Amarista begins 2017 with eligibility solely at second base in formats that require 20 games played at a position. Simply put, there are better ways to utilize endgame roster spots even in the deepest of leagues.
Amarista is batting ninth and starting in left field for Friday's Cactus League contest, Jenny Cavnar of ROOT Sports reports. Amarista left Wednesday's game after he was stuck in the forearm by a pitch, but it appears he's good to go after a day of rest. The utility man is hitting .235/.316/.294 over 14 games this spring.
Amarista exited Wednesday's spring game after he was hit by a pitch on his forearm, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. Amarista had his wrist checked out in the dugout afterwards, but the substitution primarily appeared to be precautionary, as it didn't appear to be overly serious. He should be considered day-to-day until the Rockies note otherwise.
Amarista participated in his first spring game Sunday and went 0-for-2. The utility man logged all his innings at shortstop during Colorado's split-squad game, although with Trevor Story locked in at that spot and stalwarts Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMehieu and Ian Desmond rounding off the infield, Amarista seems to just be staying sharp as he prepares for a reserve utility role. The 27-year-old has never hit higher than .257 during his big league career, but his ability to play infield and outfield along with his major league contract status should give him an inside track to one of the more prominent bench roles for the Rockies.
Amarista agreed to a one-year contract with the Rockies on Monday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. The 27-year-old was non-tendered by the Padres earlier in December, but he'll remain in the NL West and reunite with his former manager Bud Black. Amarista doesn't have the most impressive batting line (career .230/.276/.320), but his speed and expansive defensive versatility should play well into a super utility role off of Colorado's bench.
The Padres declined to tender Amarista a contract Friday, making him a free agent, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Amarista provided versatility off the Padres' bench, making starts at five different positions last season. He makes decent contact but has never been an offensive threat (career .230/.276/.320), and there's a chance he could find himself back in the minors to begin 2017.