Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Vinny Rottino Called Up by Cleveland Indians

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Folks, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you should know by now that I appreciate two main things when it comes to people: hard work, and persistence.  Yes, you must have talent, but you also must work to apply your talent . . . at any rate, the application of hard work and effort to maximize talent is what I celebrate most when it comes to baseball player Vinny Rottino, 32, of Racine.

Rottino’s been working for the past ten years, all to get a legitimate shot at playing in the major leagues.  He is a utility infielder and outfielder who also catches; he’s a good baserunner, knows how to advance the runner, is an unselfish player, and can steal a base or two for you as he has deceptive speed — and due to his knowledge of pitchers and pitching from catching them so often in the minors, he rarely gets caught stealing.

I’ve been a strong proponent of Rottino getting his shot at the major league level.  I believe he can hit major league pitching, if only given a week or so to adjust to it; I also believe that if a team gives him a legitimate chance to show what he can do, Rottino will thrive. 

And even though he is now 32, he takes good care of his body; maybe Rottino could be another guy like Julio Franco who plays well into his forties due to how well-conditioned and smart Rottino has been throughout his playing career. 

Age is just a number, folks.  (I really wish major league baseball executives would learn to keep this in mind.)  What matters is the size of a person’s heart, first; then, it’s down to two things (providing you have the talent to play minor league baseball at any level to begin with): how hard you’re willing to work, and how long you’re willing to keep trying.

Rottino works hard.  And he’s extremely persistent.  Which is why I’m thrilled that Rottino got called up by the Cleveland Indians.

Here’s the straight scoop:  on Wednesday evening (August 1, 2012, to be exact), Rottino got the call from Cleveland.  His manager, Manny Acta, immediately inserted Rottino into the lineup for Thursday night’s game; Rottino played left field, taking an 0-for-4 at the plate with one RBI.

Here are some words from Rottino, courtesy of last night’s blog at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, written by Paul Hoynes:

“I’m glad they’re throwing me right in there,” said Rottino, 32. “I don’t want to sit around and wait.”

The Indians claimed Rottino on waivers from the Mets on June 27. He was optioned to Class AAA Columbus where he hit .299 (35-for-117) with nine doubles, four homers and 32 RBI in 30 games. This is his third trip to the big league this year, the first two coming with the Mets.

“My swing feels good,” said Rottino. “My approach feels good. I got limited playing time with New York. So I was excited to just start playing again. I got off to a nice start.”

Another reason I like Rottino so much, as a player, is because he doesn’t point fingers at anyone.  He simply states the truth.  I think that’s wonderful.

Going back to Hoynes’s blog, it was obvious that Hoynes was surprised by how many gloves Rottino brought with him — eight — and how many positions Rottino plays (everything except second base, shortstop, and pitcher).  Here are a few more words from Rottino regarding that:

“I’ve got four gloves and four backup gloves,” said Rottino. “I can catch, play third, first and all three outfield spots.

“I love catching the most of all the positions, but I’ve played mostly outfield the last two years.”

This blog also pointed out that as Rottino is taking the place of Travis Hafner (currently on paternity leave), Rottino’s stay in the majors may be short — and if it is, Rottino could end up designated for assignment (DFA’d) again.  But Rottino is thinking positively, and apparently, so is writer Hoynes, who ends his blog with:

There could be some roster changes coming with the Indians seven games out of first place. They designated Derek Lowe, 39, for assignment Wednesday. If changes are made, Rottino might be able to stick around a little longer than Saturday. 

Let us all sincerely hope so.  (And as always — good luck, Vinny.  ‘Cause I know you have the talent.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm

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