Sports Outside the Beltway

Erubiel Durazo – The Return of the “Holy Grail”

In 2002, Billy Beane obtained, in a typically Beane-like four-way deal, what he had been calling his “holy grail”.

Of course, I’m talking about none other than Erubiel Durazo, aka “Alligator Arms”, aka “The Grail”.

Like the Grail of old, he was lost for a time. In 2005 and 2006, Durazo effectively vanished from the face of the baseball world.

2005 was a down year, as the Grail posted a meager .673 OPS, and then tore ligaments in his elbow that required Tommy John surgery; odd for a DH.

Durazo spent 2006 shuffling between the minor league affiliates of the Rangers, Twins and Yankees. He found moderate success, but not enough to stick with a team, or warrant a call-up.

The recovery from Tommy John took a while, sapping his power and limiting him to just 5 home runs. His plate discipline was still there, though, as he hit .286 and posted an on-base percentage of .389.

This winter, in the Mexican League, Durazo has impressed. His line of .345/.454/.641 with 17 HR through 57 games looks very good.

So, he’s been invited to spring training with the A’s.

So what does this mean, assuming Durazo reverts to form?

Hopefully his swing is easier to relocate than the mythical Holy Grail.


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