The Rockies just announced that they have traded Marco Scutaro and cash considerations to the Giants for infielder Charlie Culberson. Yes, Brian Sabean loves his veteran middle infielders.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes that Scutaro is owed $2.2 million for the rest of the season before hitting free agency, but it’s not known how much of his remaining salary the Rockies are covering.
Scutaro, 36, is hitting .271/.324/.361 with four homers, 30 RBI, seven stolen bases and a .684 OPS in 94 games played this year. Coming into play tonight, he had a .794 OPS at home compared to a lowly .570 OPS on the road. He figures to be worked into the mix at either second base or shortstop. It’s even possible he could play some third base if Pablo Sandoval is placed on the disabled list, though he hasn’t played there since 2008 with the Blue Jays.
Culberson was a supplemental first-round pick of the Giants back in 2007. The 23-year-old second baseman had his first cup of the coffee in the big leagues earlier this season and is a .258/.309/.379 hitter over parts of six seasons in the minors. He was ranked as the organization’s No. 11 prospect by Baseball America during the offseason.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.