With San Diego Padres outfielder Will Venable on paternity leave, Alex Dickerson was called up to make his major-league debut for the team he grew up watching as a kid.
Dickerson, who raised in Poway, Calif., which is located in San Diego County, made his major-league debut with his hometown Padres in the eighth inning of the team's 10-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
The 25-year-old outfielder flew out to right in his first major-league at-bat.
"It was really exciting. It was one o'clock in the morning when I found out," Dickerson said of being notified he had been called up. "I really didn't have much time to process it. It was definitely really exciting, big adrenaline rush, didn't sleep hardly at all. It's a big day for me. I grew up as a kid watching this team play, and getting a chance to be in the dugout, playing for them, is kind of a big deal."
Dickerson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round in 2011, and was acquired by the Padres in 2013.
After hitting .300/.359/.485 with 46 home runs and 262 RBI in five seasons in the minors, Dickerson has finally received his first taste of The Show.
"It did seem like a long time, especially for where I was at last season, but I was just hanging in there, playing baseball, just trying to focus on the day-to-day," Dickerson said. "You just let this day kind of happen. I didn't see it coming. Can't try to anticipate moves you can't make. It was just a matter of playing as hard as I can in Triple-A and just waiting for this call."
Dickerson has played first base in addition to every position in the outfield in his minor-league career, but is expected to play left field for the Padres if he's placed in the field.
Interim manager Pat Murphy knows Dickerson is in for an adjustment at the big-league level, but is confident in his hitting ability.
"This is a big jump, but he can swing the bat," Murphy said. "He's not afraid. He handles lefties as well as he does righties. He believes he can hit. There's some flaws in there -- that's the knock on a lot of players -- but I think Alex can compete. He's a left fielder and still getting better and better out there."
(h/t San Diego Union-Tribune)