It’s one of those names you don’t even see on the Phillies spring training roster, because you scan right over it. Hey, great… another aging reliever trying to cling to a dream with a loosening grip. It doesn’t even really sound like a baseball name; more like the moniker of a gentleman trying to sell you a skateboard/vacuum cleaner hybrid at 3:30 in the morning. And not in an infomercial–in your bedroom, after crawling through your window, swearing he wouldn’t hurt you if you would just listen. Also I imagine he’s wearing a top hat.
Anyway, there are plenty of guys like Scott in Clearwater this season. Hell, there are plenty of guys like Scott everywhere, during every season. But what’s different about Scott is that apparently, he is being better than god awful. And that’s something All-Stars like Dontrelle Willis can’t claim.
Obviously, the cards are stacked against Scott. He hasn’t actually thrown a ball in a Major League game since 2008. He’s had shoulder surgery. He’s been ranked among the 1o worst pitchers in home runs allowed, more than once. He’s had “personal issues.” He keeps breaking into people’s homes at night to try and sell them his inventions.
But put all that aside. Ruben Amaro did, when he went to see Scott hold a throwing session in November. Actually, Ruben was in town because one of his other, better players had been given yet another award for being a shining example of humanity. Yet, Ruben watched, and for some reason, saw something he liked.
“He was a pretty good pitcher back in the day when he was going good.”
–Ruben Amaro, when asked to be descriptive about Scott Elarton
So, the Scott Elarton Story continues, as he’s only given up a hit and a run in six innings this spring, with no walks. Even Rich Dubee is impressed, stating that Scott has his “attention.” Which means that if things keep going this way, as long as the Phillies limit his work to six innings over the next season, Elarton could be extremely effective.