Joe Crede is back in action.
After sitting out for all of the 2010 season in recovery from back surgery, the veteran third baseman inked a minor league contract on Wednesday afternoon with the Rockies. This according to the club’s official Twitter feed.
The deal also comes with an invitation to spring training, where Crede will attempt to land a spot on Colorado’s Opening Day roster. It’s a longshot, but if he is truly rehabbed and can muster some decent power numbers in Cactus League play, maybe luck will be on his side. After all, he’s only 32 years old.
Crede appeared in just 90 games in 2009 for the Twins, but he hit 15 home runs. He played in only 97 games in 2008 for the White Sox, but he again showed good power with 17 home runs. He was always pretty sharp defensively and could operate as a backup for injury-prone third baseman Ian Stewart out in Colorado. Coors Field tends to be quite friendly to hitters attempting to rediscover their power stroke.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: