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Saturday Rockpile: Rockies Usher Out Scutaro, Usher in the White Flag

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Though the rest of us knew it already, the Rockies officially branded themselves as sellers with last night's trade of Marco Scutaro to the Giants.

What a difference four months makes, huh? Way back in late-March/early-April, we discussed amongst ourselves as Rockies fans the possibility of being a playoff team, with the 36-year-old veteran a key cog in helping the club achieve that goal. The Rockies were undone by bad play at second base in their last few non-playoff seasons. However, in the two years they did reach the promised land, they got solidly above-average to downright good play from Kaz Matsui (2007, .288/.342/.405) and Clint Barmes (2009, .440 SLG/23 HR). So, there was reason to believe that with the acquisition of Scutaro would fill that hole once again.

Things obviously didn't pan out the way that the Rockies and their fans hoped they would, as Scutaro scuffled through various points of the season. Scoots finished his time with the Rockies with a .324 OBP and .361 SLG, numbers that were well-below what he put up in Boston last season. In case you were wondering, he would not make our list of top five one-year position players, as he accumulated just 0.7 WAR. Of course, it wasn't just Scutaro's decline that hurt the Rockies, as half of their pitching staff was injured along with their best player, while their star prospect (who was going to be counted on to arrive to the big leagues and June and help with the push) has struggled mightily in AA. However, Scutaro's failure to live up to expectations epitomizes what the Rockies' 2012 season has been like.

Charlie Culberson was received by the Rockies in return for Scutaro. He's a second-generation pro ball player, as his father spent five years in the Royals' organization in the mid-to-late 80's. His best minor league season came in 2010 as an age-appropriate 21-year-old in the Cal League with San Jose, posting a .290/.340/.457 line with 16 homers. However, aside from his campaign in the Arizona Rookie League, Culberson has failed to put up an OPS greater than .700 in any other season. I would say that his best-case comparison is the aforementioned Barmes, who has always had a little bit of pop in that bat but strikes out a ton and doesn't walk. That's Culberson's minor league career in a nutshell.

The Rox obviously see something in Culberson, otherwise I'm assuming they wouldn't have paid the Giants to take Scutaro off their hands. However, it would appear that he has no better shot of becoming a decent major league player than Chris Nelson, DJ LeMahieu, Jonathan Herrera, or Eric Young Jr - guys who are already taking up roster space despite being decidedly "meh" thus far in their big league careers.

A couple of links after the jump...

Colorado Rockies' Chris Nelson feeling OK after "perfect storm" - The Denver Post
Chris Nelson was given the okay by his doctor to resume baseball activities following his scare with an irregular heartbeat, which was caused by dehydration due to the over-consumption of energy drinks. Nelson and the Rox are currently unsure of when he'll start rehabbing in the minors.

Also in this piece is an update on Jhoulys Chacin, who will begin a rehab assignment with Modesto in the next few days before moving on to Tulsa for a couple of starts, as well as one with the Sky Sox.

Moss: Kyle Parker hitting his stride in Colorado Rockies' farm system - The Denver Post
I'll admit I really enjoy Moss' minor league reports, even if they lack depth and objectivity at times. His latest piece discusses Kyle Parker's recent surge, as he has hit .378 in the second half of the season thus far. The best part of Parker's performance this season is that he has cut down on the K's and increased the walks, which is not lost on Moss in the article. Parker will no doubt end up in Tulsa next season, and it will be very interesting to see how he handles the jump. Just a warning - don't get too low on him if he struggles initially, as that jump is probably the toughest in the minors (even if Corey Dickerson disagrees).

There is a slightly worrisome blurb at the bottom that mentions possible offseason groin surgery for Tyler Anderson. The Rockies' problems with the groin area continue, apparently. For what it's worth, Anderson said he's not currently bothered by the injury, but I'm sure Troy Tulowitzki said the same thing at some point.