I wrote that title as a complete joke, because really, Dodger fans have done little but make fun of Claudio Vargas all year… but now that I think about it, I’m not at all sure I understand this:
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that they have acquired minor league catcher Vinny Rottino from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Claudio Vargas. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
Rottino, 29, has appeared briefly in the Major Leagues for Milwaukee in each of the past three seasons and was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team last season when he posted a 24-game hitting streak. The Wisconsin native has made the PCL All-Star team each of the past three years and has been named to his league’s All-Star team in each season dating back to 2004 when he recorded a team record 124 RBI for Single-A Beloit.
Vargas, 31, spent much of the 2009 season on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis before being activated on July 3. Since returning to the big leagues, he has appeared in eight games for Los Angeles, posting a 1.64 ERA in 11.0 innings. The Dominican Republic native will be returning to Milwaukee, where he won 11 games for the Brewers in 2007. In seven big league seasons, the right-hander is 46-40 with a 4.89 ERA in 172 games (114 starts).
Rottino is expected to report to Double-A Chattanooga.
Believe it or not, Vargas has actually been pretty good for the Dodgers since coming off the DL. 11 innings isn’t much of a sample size, but he’s allowed only 11 baserunners and 2 runs in that time, with a nice 10/4 K/BB ratio. I’m hardly crushed that he’s gone, but did we really need Vinny Rottino? He’s 29 with all of 18 MLB games under his belt, and he’s so highly thought of that he’s being sent to AA. You almost feel bad for the guy, being a Wisconsin native and all, now being shipped out to Chattanooga.
No, what this feels like is a way to clear out a roster spot for George Sherrill, but there were better ways to do that. DFA Jason Schmidt, for one, and no, I don’t care that he’s tonight’s starter. Send down James McDonald or Scott Elbert, if you must, because you know that either one would be right back up in a week.
Vargas wasn’t great, but he was at least useful, while Vinny Rottino looks unlikely to ever play a single game as a Dodger. I hate to act as though I’m all worked up over losing Claudio Vargas, of all people, but this move just makes no sense at all.