He exists in Rockies records as The Other Guy, the prospect acquired when the Rockies shipped Marco Scutaro to the Giants last July 27. Scutaro, who scuffled with the Rockies, became glue in the Giants’ clubhouse and lineup and, much to the chagrin of Rockies fans, turned blistering hot during the playoffs. Scutaro will forever be remembered for his picture with his mouth open catching raindrops as the Giants advanced to the World Series.
Culberson, a former Calhoun High standout, will always have 11 days in May.
“It’s a little different. I was there a short time in the big leagues. It’s weird how the game works,” said Culberson, who made his major-league debut last season and played six games for the Giants. “But I am not complaining. It’s a World Series ring.”
Culberson pulled for the Giants because he’s close to several players. He’s sharing a house this spring with Brandon Belt, San Francisco’s first baseman. Belt told Culberson that he deserved the ring, that every contribution is important in a championship season.
“The Giants wanted a veteran who could help, and Scutaro was great for them,” Culberson said. “I was happy for them.”
After hitting well at Triple-A Colorado Springs (a .336 average with 14 extra-base hits in 30 games), Culberson has drawn attention this spring. He’s a little better at everything than first glance suggests. At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, he has some power and runs well, and defensively has made multiple diving catches at second base, leaving him at least in the conversation to make the team as a utility player.
“He has made a nice impression. Guys took notice of him right away,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He’s one of those sneaky-fast guys and is a good defender.”
Culberson had no regrets about the trade. With the Rockies, he saw opportunity. And as hard as it was to watch the playoffs, he was home with his wife and their newborn child. If nothing else, the deal has created clear motivation for the 23-year-old.
“The Rockies are in San Francisco for that first road series. It would be awesome to make the team and get my ring then,” Culberson said.
“Either way, I will definitely give them my address. I know how lucky I am to get one.”