Troy Tulowitzki went down and Marco Scutaro got traded, setting the stage for Josh Rutledge. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the dude in the Colorado Rockies uniform who is simply raking.
Rutledge went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBI in last night’s win over the Dodgers. For the season — 22 games worth since his promotion from Double-A Tulsa — he’s hitting .356/.372/.700 with six homers, 18 RBI and three steals.
Rutledge, the Rockies third round pick in 2010, turned 23 in April. He raked to the tune of .348/.414/.517 at high-A last season, and in Double-A this year he hit .306/.338/.508 in 87 games, so while .350 is not sustainable, the guy does have some chops.
I don’t know what his defense is all about, but he’s not going to supplant Tulowitzki as the starting shortstop next season. But boy howdy, he’d make a nice companion at second base, yes?
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.