As reported on Venezuelan sports websites yesterday and here at Halos Heaven just after midnight, the Angels have called up infielder Alexi Amarista from their AAA affiliate team and have optioned outfielder Reggie Willits to that same Salt Lake City Bees squad.
UPDATE: Jason Brennan posts a picture revealing that Amarista is NOT in Monday's lineup.
In fourteen AAA games this season, Amarista is batting .455, has hit two homeruns, six doubles and has 25 hits in 55 At-Bats. Even for a small sample size at high altitude, homer-friendly Salt Lake, his 1.156 OPS (On Base Plus Slugging Percentage) stands out, especially for a stellar defender at 2B.
In 48 games last year at AA Arkansas (a more realistic hitting environment) had 62 total bases in 48 games, batting .288 with a passable .656 OPS considering his defense is regularly described as "jawdropping" up the middle.
Amarista, who bats from the left side, just turned 22 earlier this month. At 2B, Alexi allows the Angels to move Howie Kendrick to 1B and use slugging whiffer Mark Trumbo as the Willits-like backup outfielder, although one would assume Trumbo's development should see him palying everyday, even if it is at the homer-friendly Utah-based environment that saw him win Angels organizational player of the year in 2010.
Eyewitness accounts at the stadium have reported that Amarista took early batting practice along with Torii Hunter and others this afternoon.