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.
Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.
Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.
Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.
After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.