Old mate has high praise for new rival Scutaro

Old mate has high praise for new rival Scutaro

LOS ANGELES -- Marco Scutaro received his first real break with Oakland in 2004, when he replaced second baseman Mark Ellis and batted .273 in 137 games.

Ellis proceeded to play frequently alongside Scutaro, who moved to shortstop, through 2007. Currently, Scutaro is thriving with the Giants, for whom he was batting .318 in 22 games entering Monday's series opener at Los Angeles. If anybody appreciates Scutaro's skill, it's Ellis, now the Dodgers' starting second baseman.

"I thought it was a great move," Ellis said, referring to San Francisco's July 28 acquisition of Scutaro. "I'd love to have him on my team anytime. He's one of those guys you don't want to have come up in a big situation [as an opponent]. Some guys are like that. They've done it numerous times. He's not afraid to be put in that situation."

In fact, Scutaro began Monday hitting .333 (9-for-27) with runners in scoring position as a Giant.

Ellis cited Scutaro's versatility as another asset. After starting 15 games at third base, a position he hadn't handled since 2008, Scutaro has played second base for four games in a row. "That's a valuable guy to have on your team," Ellis said.