Tuesday Rockpile: Revisiting the Marco Scutaro Trade

What is the Rockies' plan for this guy?

Forty six days ago, the Rockies traded away a player who is now leading the offense of a division-leading team, deserving of MVP votes. In return, Colorado acquired a young player who would become their 2nd best middle infield prospect, hitting .336 in 30 games in AAA Colorado Springs, and despite already being on the 40-man roster, did not earn a September callup.

I was out of the state and country on vacation from September 1 to September 9, so I am playing catch up on the Rockies pulse by piecing together news and links without full context. That makes paragraphs like today's Rockpile lead possible. Early this morning, Bradley Ankrom of Baseball Prospectus tweeted this:

In 42 games with San Francisco, Scutaro has hit .329/.353/.441 (113 wRC+) following a disappointing .271/.324/.361 (77 wRC+) tenure in Colorado. Scutaro's presence has certainly been a major positive for the Giants, and a savvy midseason acquisition, but even down-ballot MVP votes are a little much.

On the other side, Jonathan Mayo and MLB.com released their top 20 Rockies prospects. Oddly, Culberson ranks #11 in the system, 8 and 9 spots ahead of Rafael Ortega and Corey Dickerson, respectively. It also places him as the third best infield prospect in the system, behind Nolan Arenado (#1) and Trevor Story (#2). The list also ranks David Dahl as the #5 prospect in the system, making the entire list, in this writer's opinion, completely without merit.

If Culberson - with major league experience, a 40-man roster spot, the piece acquired for an important player, who performed well in AAA - really had a future as Mayo suggests, a September call-up would have been a no-brainer. Yet Culberson is not playing in an infield that generally features one rookie and three utility infielders. Culberson is nowhere near as valuable as Mayo suggests, but it does present an interesting question that has been unanswered since July 27.

Why Charlie Culberson? Since the July 27 trade, the Rockies have seen five infielders (Nelson, Herrera, Tulowitzki, Helton, Giambi) on the disabled list and undergone the September roster expansion, yet Culberson did not earn a look. It is fine if the Rockies don't believe he has a better shot at an MLB future than Nelson, Rutledge, LeMahieu, and Pacheco. That is reasonable and perhaps even likely correct. It just makes his acquisition seem rather odd in the first place.

Off Topic

Links

Rockies losing patience with catcher Wilin Rosario's poor defense - The Denver Post This is a big deal. If Wilin Rosario does not have the confidence of his pitchers and continues to allow wild pitches and passed balls at a league-leading rate, his elite bat is neutralized. This could be the difference between an All-Star catcher and a angst-ridden three years before dealing him for a AAAA prospect.

Rockies notes: Hernandez injury update, Alex White's home run - Hernandez is likely out for the year. The Sky Sox have been done for over a week, but Omir Santos or Wilkin Castillo could still get the call. Or they could go with Lars Davis, who had a good year in AA and played his final game Sunday. Regardless, a catcher will have to be added to the 40-man.

The Decline and Fall of the Rockies - McCovey Chronicles - It was fun seeing Grant Brisbee squeal and whine about the pain the Rockies inflicted on him. It is just as painful to read him PITY the Rockies as we squeal and whine about them.

Baseball Prospectus | Monday Morning Ten Pack: Most Memorable Prospect Debuts David Dahl makes an appearance in this Goldstein-less Ten Pack. Two other 2012 draftees heavily tied to the Rockies are also in this list. Colorado ultimately passed on both for Dahl, and those two reached Low-A and AA, respectively. The write-up states scouts are pleasantly surprised at Dahl's home run power.

What In The Absolute Heck Happened To Carlos Beltran? - Baseball Nation - Another Brisbee piece points out that Carlos Beltran has fallen apart, barely more valuable in the second half than Michael Cuddyer, who is injured. In other news,Josh Willingham is consistently mashing.

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And for your holy Troutism for the day:

He has passed Chili Davis, Maicer Izturis and Mike Napoli to rank 24th with 10.8 rWAR. The 24th ranked Rockie is Mr. Sledgehammer Dante Bichette...at 3.1. Trout's 10.8 rWAR would rank him 9th in Rockies history and within striking distance of Ellis Burke for 8th.

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