Charlie Culberson hit more homers in the postseason than he did in the regular season in 2017. Sure, he had a total of 33 plate appearances, but that one World Series homer was about as improbable as it gets and why baseball is beautiful. What is not beautiful is the thought of having to roster Atlanta's newest version of Rafael Belliard. His World Series blast aside, Culberson hasn't hit for any power since leaving the comforts of the California and Pacific Coast leagues and he does not run much either. With Adonis Garcia now headed overseas, Culberson could stick around as a utility knife, seeing occasional starts around the infield when a regular needs the day off.
Culberson was traded to the Braves from the Dodgers along with Scott Kazmir (hip), Adrian Gonzalez (back), Brandon McCarthy and cash in exchange for Matt Kemp on Saturday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Culberson played in just 15 regular-season games last season, though he garnered 10 playoff appearances due to an injury to Corey Seager and hit an impressive .500/.471/.938 in the process. He's appeared in just 49 major-league games over the past three seasons, hitting .275/.301/.363 over that stretch, but he should be in line for more opportunities next season as a utility man for the Braves.
Culberson is not in the lineup for Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cubs on Tuesday, Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com reports. Culberson started the first two games of the NLCS -- both against left-handed pitchers -- in place of the injured Corey Seager (back), but he'll head to the bench for Game 3 with righty Kyle Hendricks toeing the rubber for the Cubs. Chris Taylor will start at shortstop in his place, opening up a spot for Joc Pederson to start in center field. Culberson is 2-for-5 (.400) with an RBI and two runs scored so far in the NLCS.
Culberson had his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is starting at shortstop Monday against the Diamondbacks. Culberson will join the Dodgers for the first time all season after compiling a .250/.299/.336 line in 108 games with Oklahoma City. He's expected to serve as infield depth for the big club, and he'll likely see some starts at shortstop while Corey Seager (elbow) remains sidelined. The 28-year-old spent some time in the majors last season, slashing .299/.309/.388 in 67 at-bats. Brandon McCarthy (finger) was shifted to the 60-day DL in a corresponding roster move.
Culberson (personal) was reassigned to minor-league camp Wednesday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. The 27-year-old was in the hunt for a reserve role on the major-league roster, although his .250 batting average this spring did little to persuade the Dodgers to deploy him in Los Angeles. His versatility should help him get a call back to the majors relatively soon, but for now Culberson will have to bide his time with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Culberson will be away from camp for a few days while his wife gives birth, Eric Stephen of SB Nation reports. Culberson is vying for a utility role with the Dodgers, though he's considered the underdog in that battle. The 27-year-old has gone 12-for-48 (.250) with three RBI so far this spring. He should be back shortly after his wife gives birth.