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.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.