Culberson’s development at shortstop as important as recent hitting streak

Published: July 4, 2013, 5:38 pm, by Joe Paisley

Culberson MUGSky Sox shortstop Charlie Culberson’s hitting streak may have ended at 16 games on Sunday during a lopsided home loss, but his improvement as a shortstop also deserves recognition.

He was part of three double plays in last Saturday’s 5-2 home win over Tucson and is a big reason why the Sky Sox recorded their 100th double play of the season during an otherwise forgettable road trip to Pacific Northern-leading Tacoma.

“He is getting more comfortable there after not playing there for a while,” manager Glenallen Hill said of the former outfielder.

Hill said Culberson’s comfort level is evident because he sees the ball coming off the bat better than before.

He has a better feel for the position and can better anticipate where the ball is headed, so he no longer rushes forward unnecessarily, allowing the grounder to come to him. That allows him to set his feet in preparation for the throw to first base.

“He looks a lot smoother out there as a result,” Hill said.

Culberson looks pretty smooth at the plate much of the time too.

“I am feeling pretty good, getting into a nice groove and I have had a little luck too,” he said during his streak. “It takes a little luck too. I got my hit (in Game 2 Thursday) with my last at-bat. It has been a combination of things. I still have tough at-bats and good ones but I go into each one with a plan. ‘G’ has me batting leadoff which usually means an extra at-bat most games.”

Notes

Righthanded pitcher Parker Frazier, a former Bishop Kelley standout, was sent down to Double-A Tulsa. He is the son of Rockies broadcaster George Frazier. …  Reno top prospect Tyler Skaggs, the scheduled starter against the Sky Sox Thursday, was called up the Diamondbacks to play Friday against the Rockies. …. The last appearance in Colorado Springs by The Famous San Diego Chicken was Aug. 27, 1988 when he entertained a crowd of 7,078 at Sky Sox Stadium. He is back for Friday night’s game as well.