Rockies promote Culberson from Triple-A
Prospect an infielder by trade but has been seeing playing time in outfield
ATLANTA -- Glenallen Hill, the manager at Triple-A Colorado Springs, offered Charlie Culberson more than just a position change. He was giving Culberson a new path to the Majors.
Culberson displayed decent hitting and top-shelf athletic ability as an infielder, but was not at the top of the list of backup plans for the Rockies. After a week playing in the outfield, Culberson, 24, earned a call-up to the Majors on Monday. as the Rockies sent backup first baseman Jordan Pacheco to Colorado Springs.
"He's a person who has helped me and a lot of other guys," Culberson said. "About a week ago, he said, 'Have you ever played outfield?' I said, 'When I was a little kid.' He said, 'You're fine. Go to left.'
"I did that and started taking some balls in center. A few days later, I played outfield again, and I just asked him, 'What's the deal? Is there a reason?' Because I figured there was. He said, 'I'm just trying to get you to the big leagues.'"
During Spring Training, manager Walt Weiss liked the athletic ability and hitting potential of Culberson, who appeared in six games with the Giants last season (.139) and ended up receiving a World Series championship ring. Now Weiss will give Culberson a shot. Culberson was hitting .310 at Colorado Springs.
"He's athletic enough to pull it off and he's swinging the bat really well," Weiss said. "He runs real well. It's a nice piece to have on the bench."
The Giants presented Culberson with his ring by sending it to their Triple-A Fresno team, which presented it to Culberson during an on-field ceremony before a game in Colorado Springs.
Culberson, who is from Rome, Ga., and lives with his wife in Augusta, Ga., during the offseason, brought the ring and said he would give it to either his parents or his in-laws. He is the only current Rockies player with a World Series ring.
Culberson, ranked the Rockies' No. 16 prospect by MLB.com, was obtained from the Giants last year for second baseman Marco Scutaro.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.